Mercedes-Benz has prepared the EQS full-electric sedan for Level 3 automation that will let the driver disengage mentally and physically from the task of driving.
"Thanks to its comprehensive sensor technology and intelligence, the EQS sees practically everything around it and becomes a co-pilot," Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said in a news release to launch the automaker's new electric flagship.
The EQS's optional Drive Pilot system can take over the driving at speeds up to 60 kph (37 mph) on suitable highway sections and suitable roads where traffic density is high, Mercedes said. The system controls speed and deals with unexpected traffic situations by taking evasive action or emergency braking.
The driver is then free to do other things, such as browsing the Internet, but needs to be ready to retake the wheel when needed, Mercedes said.
That level of automated driving is not yet allowed on public roads, but Mercedes anticipates that regulations will be in place in Germany "from the first half of 2022" with other European countries, the U.S. and China following suit.
"We are on the verge of trying to certify the first volume production car Level 3 system in Germany in the second half of this year," Kallenius told journalists on Thursday.
The EQS is the first Mercedes to be built on a new dedicated electric-vehicle platform. It will go on sale in Europe and the U.S. in August. China will follow in January 2022. The sedan will offer a market-leading driving range of 770 km (478 miles).