Mercedes-Benz started the year with a bang as it successfully gained approval to use its Level 3 autonomous driving technology on US roads. This makes the automaker the first in the world to achieve such a feat. Recently, the Mercedes S-Class and EQS were seen testing the feature further using LiDAR equipment which suggests that there’s likely more in store for their maker’s future self-driving cars.
Mercedes LiDAR Testing
As shown in the video above, Mercedes is seemingly testing a LiDAR device. As a recap, the luxury car maker just expanded its agreement with Luminar in February in an effort to continue its momentum in the development of its native self-driving tech. The S-Class and EQS here are most probably testing the integration of the technology in future Mercedes models.
About the LiDAR Tech
LiDAR stands for “Light Detection and Ranging.” It is a remote-sensing technology that uses lasers to measure distances and create precise three-dimensional maps or models of objects and environments.
The system emits laser pulses and measures the time it takes for the light to bounce back after hitting an object or surface. By analyzing the reflected light, it can determine the distance, shape, and even the composition of the object or surface being scanned.
LiDAR finds applications in various fields, including autonomous vehicles, mapping and surveying, environmental monitoring, archaeology, forestry, and urban planning. In autonomous vehicles, these sensors are used to create detailed maps of the surroundings, detect obstacles, and assist with navigation.
Additionally, LiDAR data can be combined with other sensor data, such as cameras and radar, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the environment. Its potential fusion with the revolutionary Drive Pilot of Mercedes is expected to elevate the features of the three-pointed star marque’s self-driving tech even more.
Mercedes Self-Driving Tech
Later this year, Mercedes plans to introduce its hands-free driving technology, known as Drive Pilot, in the American market. This revolutionary system, available in the 2024 model-year S-Class and EQS, represents the first Level 3 conditional automated drive system ever made available in the US.
Unlike Level 2 systems that require the driver’s eyes to be fixated on the road, Drive Pilot allows the driver to divert their attention elsewhere as long as the interior camera can detect the driver’s face. Presently, due to prevailing regulations, Drive Pilot can exclusively function on specific highways at speeds not exceeding 40 mph.
The Level 3 autonomous driving tech of Mercedes has already received approval in Nevada. It is also expected to be authorized in California later this year.