Special Light Tells People Whether Or Not A Mercedes-Benz Is On Drive Pilot

Giancarlo Perlas December 22, 2023

A planned update in Mercedes-Benz autonomous cars will let people know if it’s on Drive Pilot. The subtle change that adds turquoise-colored marker light will serve as an indication if the car is driving on its own.

Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot

Mercedes-Benz announced that it just secured permits to use exterior marker lights in California and Nevada. The integration of the turquoise bars below the taillights, headlights, and side mirrors will tell people whether or not the SAE Level 3 automated driving system (ADS) of the car dubbed “Drive Pilot” is active.

Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot

Basically, Drive Pilot lets the driver hand over full control of the car’s primary operation like accelerating, braking, and steering at speeds up to 40 mph. However, there’s the caveat that the driver should always be ready to take over should any of the automated features of the car fail.

The program was greenlit in Germany in 2021 and in Nevada and California this year. The system has been available for the S-Class and EQS Sedan since 2022.

Why Turquoise?

The color of choice was based on the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommendation for “ADS Marker Lamps.” The organization says other road users can easily notice turquoise and it’s hard to confuse it with lights commonly used by vehicles as well as traffic and emergency signals. The company also noted the higher physiological and psychological values attributed to its visuals.

The California and Nevada permits will let Mercedes gain insights into the real-world application of turquoise in self-driving cars. It will allow the company to test how automated vehicles and other road users interact with each other. Likewise, the new indicator will greatly aid law enforcement authorities in determining the active driving mode of the car so they will know whether or not the person behind the steering wheel is allowed to engage in secondary activities.

About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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