Mercedes Beats Tesla To Level 3 Autonomous Driving In America

CES / Comments

This and more were unveiled at CES this past week.

Mercedes-Benz has announced a whole slew of technology upgrades to its vehicles in 2023, along with news of a new Mercedes charging network and SAE Level 3 driving coming to equipped vehicles in the US. All of this was unveiled at the Mercedes "Tech to Desire" event in Las Vegas for CES 2023.

The company has announced major plans in recent years to bring it to the forefront of the EV and technology races. In 2021, the company spun off EQ into its own subbrand, to help it compete in the same way AMG and Maybach have been able to in their own perspective spaces. Mercedes has also rolled out its Ambition 2039 plan which will see the company become carbon neutral by then, something that these announcements at CES are working towards.

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The big news is the rollout of Mercedes' own charging network. We wrote about this a few days ago much more extensively, but the gist of the news is that Mercedes has employed the help of MN8 Energy and ChargePoint to create a North American network of over 400 charging hubs by 2027.

This will see more than 2,500 high-powered chargers added across the continent located in carefully curated hubs that will offer food outlets and restrooms nearby. The good news is these chargers will not be Mercedes only (although Mercedes vehicles like the EQS sedan will benefit from major perks,) but instead, be available to all electric vehicles.

On top of expanding the charging network, Mercedes also announced the introduction of SAE Level 3 conditionally autonomous driving to the US, specifically California and Nevada. In May 2022, Mercedes became the first car manufacturer in the world with an internationally valid certification for conditionally automated driving to offer such a system to customers in Germany.

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This means that, similarly to GM's Super Cruise, the Mercedes Drive Pilot offers the driver, on certain roads and in specific conditions, the chance for hands-free driving and time to relax. The driver still needs to be paying attention, and the system will make sure of it through sensors and cameras. The Nevada DMV recently approved the company's application and California will hopefully follow soon, and with approval, Mercedes will be the first OEM to offer a Level 3 system in the US.

Lucky CES goers were also able to catch a glimpse of the most efficient Mercedes ever produced: The VISION EQXX. This is the electric vehicle that was able to cover over 745 miles on a single charge on multiple drives and even managed a baffling 406.1 MPGe on a record-setting drive from Stuttgart, Germany to Silverstone, UK. It's an engineering marvel and a testament to the impressive engineering that will soon find its way into consumer Mercedes EVs.

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As for other technology unveiled, the company announced automatic lane change will finally be introduced to Mercedes vehicles in North America, allowing more advanced Level 2 driving. The feature allows vehicles to automatically overtake slower vehicles while using cruise control. Since this is a Level 2 system the driver will still need to remain in control but in more of an overseeing role.

Mercedes has also partnered with Apple Music and UMG to offer a one-of-a-kind listening experience available for cars equipped with the optional Burmester 4D and 3D sound systems. Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos will be offered, and specific artists will be enabled to mix albums and songs specifically for Mercedes vehicles, giving them the seal "Approved in a Mercedes-Benz."

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