In a move reminiscent of learner drivers using L plates for caution, Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce turquoise-colored lights to signal when a car is in automated driving mode.
This innovative approach will soon be witnessed on roads in California and Nevada, where Mercedes has received authorization to use these distinctive lights on its automated vehicles.
Overview of Audi A8
Currently, the vehicles equipped with this feature are the 2024 EQS and 2024 S-Class. These models boast a Level 3 automation according to the SAE, offering a hands-free, eyes-off driving experience at speeds up to 40 mph on selected highways.
Named Drive Pilot, this technology is operational in California and Nevada in the U.S., chosen for their conducive regulatory frameworks. The system has also been introduced in Germany, Mercedes’ home country. Furthermore, Mercedes has recently obtained approval to test Drive Pilot on public roads in Beijing.
The Functionality of Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot
In California, the use of turquoise lights is currently limited to testing for a two-year period. Conversely, in Nevada, these lights will be permitted on consumer vehicles starting with the 2026 models.
Mercedes is advocating for the adoption of turquoise lights as a standard in the industry to signify automated driving modes. The chosen color is believed to offer both psychological and physiological advantages, including distinctiveness from standard vehicle lights and traffic signals like emergency lights or traffic lights. The SAE’s J13134 standard also supports the use of turquoise lights for vehicles with active Level 3 automated driving systems.
Various communication methods for automated vehicles have been explored by automakers, ranging from lights, digital displays, animations, to systems mimicking human eyes. Mercedes, however, stands out as the only manufacturer to have advanced to a stage where their system is sanctioned for use on public roads.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Automated Driving Technology
What is the purpose of Mercedes-Benz’s turquoise lights on their vehicles?
Mercedes-Benz is implementing turquoise-colored lights to indicate when their vehicles are operating in an automated driving mode. This initiative aims to clearly communicate to other road users that the vehicle is being controlled by the car’s automation system, enhancing safety and awareness on the roads.
Where has Mercedes-Benz been approved to use these turquoise lights?
Mercedes-Benz has received approval to use these special turquoise lights in California and Nevada. In these states, the company has the green light to test and implement these lights on their vehicles equipped with automated driving features.
Which Mercedes-Benz models currently feature the automated driving technology?
The 2024 EQS and 2024 S-Class models from Mercedes-Benz are equipped with the automated driving technology. These vehicles feature an SAE Level 3-rated automated driver-assist feature, offering a hands-free and eyes-off driving experience at speeds up to 40 mph on select highways.
What is the Drive Pilot technology in Mercedes-Benz vehicles?
Drive Pilot is Mercedes-Benz’s advanced automated driving technology. Currently, it operates in California, Nevada, and Germany. Drive Pilot allows for true hands-free and eyes-off driving, utilizing various sensors and systems to control the vehicle safely in certain conditions.
Is there any regulatory approval for Mercedes-Benz to test Drive Pilot in other regions?
Yes, Mercedes-Benz has recently received permission to test the Drive Pilot technology on public roads in Beijing, expanding its testing and operational footprint beyond the U.S. and Germany.
How does Mercedes-Benz plan to use turquoise lights in different states?
In California, the turquoise lights are restricted to testing purposes for a two-year period. In Nevada, these lights will be allowed on consumer vehicles starting with the 2026 model year, marking a significant step towards broader adoption of automated driving technologies.
Why did Mercedes-Benz choose turquoise for their automated driving indicator lights?
Mercedes-Benz selected turquoise for their indicator lights as it stands out from existing vehicle lighting and traffic signals, providing clear differentiation. The color is also believed to offer psychological and physiological benefits, aiding in better recognition and understanding among other road users.
More about Automated Driving Technology
- Mercedes-Benz Official Website
- California Department of Motor Vehicles
- Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
- SAE International – Automated Driving Standards
- Drive Pilot Technology Overview
- Audi A8 Model Information
- Automated Driving Technology Trends
- Global Regulations for Automated Vehicles