Mercedes-Benz introduces the extremely automated Drive Pilot system

Self-driving Mercedes offers Drive Pilot for S-Class and EQS

Source: amnet

This car drives itself: Mercedes will offer a “Drive Pilot” system in the S-Class and in its electric counterpart, the EQS; Albeit only under very specific circumstances.

Presenters about it

Mercedes offers the “Drive Pilot” for the S-Class and EQS. Thus, models can drive in a very automated fashion – at least under certain conditions.

(Photo: Mercedes-Benz)

Mercedes is the first car manufacturer to offer highly automated driving as an optional addition to production vehicles. The “Drive Pilot” system can be ordered from 17 May 2022 for the S-Class for 5,000 euros and EQS as part of the most comprehensive driver assistance package for a total amount of 7,430 euros – plus VAT. Drive Pilot has an internationally valid certificate according to SAE Level 3. It automatically takes on certain driving tasks. But the driver must always be ready to take charge if the car asks him to.

Drive Pilot allows drivers to hand over the driving task to the system at speeds up to 60 km/h in heavy traffic or in traffic jams on appropriate sections of the motorway in Germany. It regulates speed, distance, and behavior within a lane. It takes into account the route of the road, the happening events and the traffic signs. Drive Pilot also manages unexpected situations independently, for example by evasive maneuvers within the lane or by braking.

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GPS operates in the centimeter range

Drive Pilot determines the exact location using GPS which, according to Mercedes, is much more powerful than standard GPS systems. In addition to data recorded by LiDAR, camera, radar and ultrasonic sensors, the high-resolution digital map provides a three-dimensional image of the road and its surroundings with information about road geometry, path characteristics, traffic signs, and special traffic incidents such as accidents or construction sites.

This map works accurately in the centimeter scale rather than the meter scale. Map data is constantly updated. This enables stable and accurate positioning even in the case of dirty shadows or sensors.

Controlled Artificial Intelligence for Security Functions

In the event of a breakdown, the vehicle remains maneuverable, so that a safe delivery to the driver is possible. If the driver does not respond to the request to take charge within the allotted time of no more than ten seconds, the Drive Pilot immediately initiates a safe emergency stop within the lane that can be managed by oncoming traffic.

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Additional control mechanisms are the basis of automated driving: in the case of safety-related functions such as pedestrian detection, Mercedes-Benz deliberately gets rid of algorithms that alter the car’s behavior during operation, for example through self-learning approaches. The focus is on what is called ‘supervised learning’. To do this, the development team defined and controlled what AI is allowed to learn.

When it comes to pedestrian detection, artificial intelligence only helps with fast and reliable recognition of both off- and off-road objects and situations. The ethical requirement is to allow disclosure to proceed in a non-discriminatory manner. It has been identified by engineers, lawyers, compliance managers, data protection officials, and ethics experts. Sensors and artificial intelligence that constantly monitor the road and the sides of the road must always recognize people correctly, regardless of their clothing, body size, posture or other characteristics.

Germany is the first country to allow Level 3

With the opening of the Road Traffic Code (StVG) for Level 3 systems in 2017, Germany was the first country to establish a legal basis for the intended use of these systems. However, the technical approval regulation by which such a system can be adopted did not enter into force until the beginning of 2021.

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Mercedes-Benz was the first car company in the world to meet UN-R157 international legal requirements for a level 3 system in December 2021. And when it comes to parking, the brand goes one step further: with the pre-installation of the “Intelligent Park Pilot”, which will allow Fully automated driverless cornering according to SAE Level 4 in the future.

In parallel with the introduction of the Drive Pilot in Germany, Mercedes-Benz intends to obtain official approval from the US state chain of California and Nevada by the end of the year, provided that the legal situation there allows it.

(No.: 48290830)

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