Mercedes-Benz said it will launch its Level 3 automated driving technology in the Western U.S. in the fourth quarter.
The service, approved for use in California and Nevada, will initially be available in a limited number of Mercedes' flagship electric EQS sedans. Next year, Mercedes will expand the Drive Pilot technology to its gasoline-powered S-Class sedan.
Drive Pilot will be available as an annual subscription, priced at $2,500 in the first year.
Mercedes' Drive Pilot system allows the car to take control of driving functions under certain conditions, freeing the driver to do other things, such as answering emails.
But the system can ask the driver to take control at any time, a prerequisite for Level 3 autonomy. If the driver does not respond within 10 seconds, the car will come to an emergency stop.
Level 3 on the SAE International scale is approved to operate on highways at up to 40 mph, meaning its primary use would be in congested traffic or traffic jams.
Drive Pilot uses radar, lidar, cameras, ultrasound and moisture sensors to provide data on road conditions to vehicle computers. It controls speed, braking and lane position.