Tesla may have brought in the self-driving car craze. However, The behemoths who are equally keen to take it forward. Along the same, the 2020 Mercedes S-Class sedan refresh could be partially autonomous, with a drastically improved driver assistance package.
The report comes from the Automotive News, which cites an interview with the company’s head of research. Apparently, the car would offer Level-3 autonomy, which is pretty cool and means that the car can drive itself in certain situations – with the driver alert and on standby.
Ola Kaellenius, who is also poised to succeed Dieter Zetsche as Daimler and Mercedes CEO in May, said:
We are on the verge of jumping to Level 3, which is our target for the next S class. That is something that you can then buy as an option, and you can proliferate it relatively quickly into higher volumes — especially with a brand like Mercedes
Mercedes competitor Audi, already has a L-3 system in place within its A8 sedan. The company is waiting for regulatory approval to start shipping the self-driving capabilities. If everything goes according to plan, the 2020 S-Class would put Mercedes on an even footing with its major competitor – and ahead of companies like Volkswagen, who are still trying to figure out the best approach to sharing the costs of research, implementation, and manufacture.
Parallel to it’s efforts to evolve its L-2 systems, Daimler is also working with Robert Bosch in an attempt to develop a fully autonomous vehicle. The latter is intended for creating fleets of fully autonomous taxis, but the system could go a long way in improving the technology going into consumer vehicles as well.
Meanwhile, companies also have regulatory hurdles to face. Till date, Germany is the only country which has authorized L-3 vehicles on its roads. That will have to change as well, before we see a more widespread adoption of semi-autonomous vehicles.