Mercedes will make its cars compatible with automated lane changing over the next few months. A technology that is not offered by Tesla in Europe, while it is she who will allow fully autonomous driving on the highway at 130 km / h.
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The race for autonomous driving continues and even accelerates between car manufacturers. And for good reason, the regulations are becoming more flexible in Europe, allowing brands to offer new, even more advanced features. And Mercedes does not deprive itself of it absolutely, taking the opportunity to overtake Tesla, in the crosshairs of justice for a few years now with the name of its Autopilot.
A new feature
The firm with the star indeed wants to go even further, while it already offers level 2 autonomous driving on several of its models. In a press release just published, it announces that a new feature will soon be arriving on certain cars in the range. It’s about automatic lane changea great first on the European market for the firm.
This feature is actually not entirely new, since it is already available in the United States on several models. Among them, the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class and all vehicles in the EQ electric range. Including the EQS, which is also compatible with the Level 3 autonomous driving in Europe as well as in several states such as Nevada and California.
For the moment, Mercedes does not communicate a precise date concerning the arrival of this functionality in the European range. The manufacturer is content simply to announce that ” the market launch should coincide with the delivery of the first new E-Class“. Gold, this is scheduled for this summer. So we shouldn’t wait too long to learn more about it and see this technology arrive, probably on the sedan.
But at the moment, the list of models that will be equipped with it is not yet known either. However, it should be the same as in the United States and Canada. This feature, also known as ALC (Automatic Lane Change) based on adaptive cruise control and Drive Pilot system. The car may react if a slower one is present just ahead, normally forcing it to slow down without this feature.
Improved level 2 autonomous driving
In this case, the Mercedes with automatic lane change is able toovertaking without driver intervention, provided that the speed is between 80 and 140 km/h. A fairly wide range, especially since the maximum limit in France is 130 km / h on the motorways. It is also only on these routes that this technology can be used.
For the system to work well, the speed must be indicated on signs so that the car knows how far to go. It must also be equipped with MBUX navigation system. If this functionality is entirely autonomous and does not need any impulse from the driver, as is the case with Tesla in the United States, the hands must remain on the steering wheel.
Indeed, and as specified by the manufacturer, it isa level 2+ autonomous driving system, and not level 3. In the case of the latter, it would then not be compulsory to hold the steering wheel, since the car is able to manage driving entirely on its own. It is also the manufacturer who becomes responsible in the event of an accident. For the moment, only the Mercedes EQS is equipped with this technology, now authorized on European roads up to 130 km/h.
But the functionality is then limited to a maximum speed of 60 km/h because of the regulations. To exceed this speed, the car would have to… be able to overtake on its own. This could therefore soon be the case for level 3 autonomous driving at 130 km/h.
Currently, Tesla does not offer such an extensive system in France, contenting itself with the overtaking on the driver’s impulse and Level 2 autonomous driving with Autopilot. The latter would also be well behind certain rivals, notably at Ford. But Elon Musk’s firm is working to improve its FSD (full self-driving) system in the United States, including hiring drivers to collect data. It remains to be seen when the latter will be launched with us…
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