Yes, it will take at least ten more years until Mercedes-Benz introduces fully-autonomous driving capabilities on its vehicles. Having “the best or nothing” for its company slogan certainly explains why Mercedes is not in a hurry for fully autonomous driving. All the same, the brand is looking forward to make it all work one day.
While at the Australian Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Jochen Haab reveals that the company’s self-driving systems are currently at the second and third level--at least in terms of technology. That means, getting onto level 5 will be a long way down the road.
The current level it has been using, (or level 3) still requires human touch. Although it depends on the situation, moving on to the next level (or level 4) will also mean that we’ll be seeing those vehicles drive themselves in almost complete autonomous mode-- even if it may sometimes require a human driver to be in control.
The only difference between these two levels is how long it takes for the driver to intervene when it is needed. With a level 4 technology, the system comes with preemptive warning (which will take several seconds in advance) so that the driver has enough time to place his or her input. The 5th level, as we know already, doesn’t require any human intervention.
Speaking with Car Advice, Haab explains why Mercedes estimates preparation of at least a decade in order to get to this certain “high-level automation”.
After all, fully autonomous driving entails its passengers to simply get in the car, tell the vehicle’s system where he or she wants to go and the car drops the person off at the exact place he or she wants to be at. Therefore, developing and using this kind of technology clearly needs no rush. This is considering the fact that Tesla has already equipped its cars with the necessary hardware for level 5 autonomous driving. While the idea is good, Haab also thinks that designing such kind of systems should not be based solely on statistics.
Earlier reports claimed that the newly updated Mercedes-Benz S-Class will have its premiere in April. In this regard, the German automaker will be introducing the most technologically advanced autonomous system in the market. Its latest feature includes new sensors and on-board map data, which could be useful in reading corners and determining whether the vehicle has entered a corner at the right speed.