It is almost there.
Autonomous driving has been a buzzword for well over a decade now, and we've seen some impressive progress by companies such as Tesla, but things are only just heating up. With Mercedes-Benz and BMW announcing that they won't be working together as previously thought, the race for a self-driving car is on. Mercedes-Benz has always been at the cutting edge of automotive technology, and the 2021 S-Class is a perfect example of how far it's pushed the boundaries, but the auto manufacturer aims to be the world's first carmaker with level three autonomy.
The company is getting ready to roll out the technology pending government approval. What this means is that drivers will be able to take their hands off the steering wheel for extended periods of time. Mercedes says that the technology will allow drivers to relinquish control of the car in most driving situations at speeds of up to 60 km/h.
"We are really putting a stake in the ground with ... the new S-Class," Mr. Kallenius the global boss of Mercedes-Benz told the media ahead of the S-Class reveal. "If we are successful with the legal framework for Level Three which we predict, we will be the first one to plant a flag on the moon in terms of doing Level Three."
Mercedes-Benz has been in a hard fought battle against rivals such as BMW and Tesla to develop level three autonomous driving, and this accomplishment will be another diamond in the the company's flush crown, which includes building the first car ever, and developing ABS brakes. Asked what this coming achievement feels like, Kallenius said: "It feels like in a way it's a decathlon times ten. It's not enough to do one thing really well. In terms of automated driving in the new S-Class, we will attempt next year, probably as the first manufacturer in the world, to certify a Level Three system for certain driving situations, to really prove that the machine can take over and be fully responsible in some driving situations, even where the human is looking out the window."