The first car that does not need you to look at the road is now authorized to circulate

All vehicles are classified according to a six level scale developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), where level 0 is completely manual and level 5 is completely autonomous without the need for human intervention. Now, for the first time, a level 3 vehicle, approved for use on the road, has gone on sale.

Almost a year after Mercedes-Benz received the green light to sell vehicles equipped with its autopilot software, called Drive Pilot, it is reported the sale of a vehicle with this level of autonomyaccording to information from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Most autonomous vehicles on the road today They are level 1 or 2. This means that they offer “driver support” functionsincluding automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

The level 3 autonomous vehicle is a Mercedes Benz, although the exact model is not known, it could be an EQS 2024 or an S-Class with Drive Pilot technology that is activated if certain conditions are met, but Works even in heavy traffic and traveling at less than 70 km/h. Level 3 allows drivers to concentrate on other activities until the vehicle alerts them to regain control. The technology does not work on roads that have not been previously approved by Mercedes.

True, there are “robotaxis” (from Alphabet's Waymo and GM's Cruise) that operate at Level 4, meaning they drive autonomously in most conditions without human interference. But These companies do not currently sell vehicles to consumers.and Cruise recently canceled its service after the California DMV suspended its license due to an incident in which a car dragged a pedestrian under its body for nearly 10 meters.

US customers can purchase an annual Drive Pilot subscription for just over €2,000 per year. For now, circulation will only be possible in California and Nevada, the only states that have granted certification to the company.

The system is equipped with LIDAR sensor, radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors that detect the environment. To this is added high-definition maps of the area and AI systems that update what is happening several kilometers ahead. The system can only be activated if all conditions are met and before doing so it will establish a safety distance with the vehicle in front of us and we must confirm, by pressing a key, that we are going to activate the system.

In the event that the system needs us to take control and we do not respond within 10 seconds, the vehicle activates the safety lights and begins to reduce speed until it completely reduces gear. Nor can the system be activated if there are pedestrians on the road or if sirens (from ambulances, police or firefighters) are heard.