DRIVE PILOT is the first commercially available SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Level 3 automated driving system designed to operate a vehicle under certain conditions in Germany.
Through the HERE HD Live Map, it allows an automated vehicle to effectively “see around corners” by delivering the vehicle system, in advance, with precise information about the road network. Beginning with the new S-class, Mercedes-Benz plans to commercially introduce its DRIVE PILOT later this year.
When activated, DRIVE PILOT controls the vehicle's speed as well as the distance to the vehicle ahead and guides a car safely within its lane without any intervention from the driver. The highly precise, cloud-based HERE HD Live Map plays a critical role in its technology by providing the system with detailed data about the three-dimensional road network. In combination with the input from the vehicle sensors the map data is used by the DRIVE PILOT to maneuver a vehicle on the public road network.
The HERE HD Live Map consists of multiple layers providing information for a car to know where exactly it is and what lies ahead. For example, it can enable a vehicle to proactively adjust to changing road conditions like adjusting its speed ahead of an upcoming lane closure. This is possible through HERE's advanced mapping technology that ensures both the accuracy as well as the freshness of its HD Live Map.
In combination with extensive sensor data, DRIVE PILOT receives information about the road geometry, route profile, traffic signs and unusual traffic events (e.g. accidents or roadworks) from a digital HD map, – which is one key element for automated driving. Its ultra-precise positioning system goes well beyond the usual GPS system. This enables us to give our customers back one of the most precious things in life: time – combined with a luxurious driving experience.
We're thrilled to be among the world's first companies to provide an HD map for series production vehicles capable of automated driving at SAE Level 3. Back at IAA 2013, we pioneered the concept of an HD map as a critical component for automated driving together with Mercedes-Benz as part of the S 500 Intelligent Drive research project on the historic Bertha Benz memorial route. Since then, we continued to further develop, refine and scale our HD mapping technology. Today, we're excited to see that Mercedes-Benz drivers will soon be able to officially take their hands off the steering wheel in certain conditions while our HD Live Map helps DRIVE PILOT to drive them comfortably and safely.
Mercedes-Benz plans to make DRIVE PILOT first available in its new S-Class in the fourth quarter of this year. Initially, it will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode at legally permitted speeds of up to 60 km/h in heavy traffic or congested situations on suitable sections of motorways in Germany. Over time, the system will be integrated into additional Mercedes-Benz models and expanded to cover suitable sections of motorways in further regions.