Mercedes-Benz will offer Drive Pilot, the first Level 3 autonomous driving system approved for European public roads, as an option on S-Class and EQS models starting May 17.
Drive Pilot will cost 5,000 euros ($5,300) on the S-Class and 7,430 euros on the EQS in Germany, Mercedes said Friday.
The system allows the car to take control of driving functions under certain conditions, freeing the driver to do other things such as answer emails. Drive Pilot is approved for use on about 13,000 km (8,100 miles) German highways at speeds of 60 kph or less, meaning its primary use would be in congested traffic or traffic jams.
Drive Pilot uses radar, lidar and cameras, as well as ultrasound and moisture sensors, to provide data on road conditions to vehicle computers. It controls speed, braking and lane position.
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.
The system will be offered only in new cars, and cannot be retrofitted, a Mercedes spokesman said Friday, because it requires installation of additional hardware.