We all know that car makers are trying to make self-driving cars. People have been eagerly waiting to see which company becomes first to bring the self-driving car in the world. Now we have got the answer – it’s none other than Mercedes-Benz.
Driverless cars operate through use of communicating sensors to ensure safe and efficient travel. Through vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication there may be no need for traffic lights and stop signs when all of the cars on the road are driverless. However, we might not be too far from seeing this as Mercedes-Benz has revealed the progress that it has made with its driverless technology by taking its S500 Intelligent Drive concept car on a 100km trip in the South of Germany.
Mercedes-Benz said that its driverless technology is an extension to its partially-automated technology. The partially-automated technology is already available to Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-Class drivers. But Mercedes-Benz has brought some advanced technology for its world’s first autonomous car.
The company has brought new Distronic Plus with Steering Assist and Stop and Go Pilot. Stop and Go Autopilot is part of a Driver Assistance Package that includes cameras, radar and ultrasound sensors to monitor the road and surroundings. Even though the autopilot function does not work at speeds above 6 miles per hour, it can still help avoid accidents by applying the brakes if a collision is imminent, or by tugging on the steering if the car is about to leave its lane. Based on various sensor data and determination of the vehicle’s own position with reference to information from a digital map, the S 500 autonomously driving vehicle analyses the available free area for driving and plans its own route.
This amazing feature allows the car to drive itself in gridlock, with the driver’s hands off the wheel. It can come to a full stop if necessary and accelerate back up to a preset speed while maintaining a set distance from the vehicle ahead. It can also steer itself to stay in the lane. But the feature only works at low speeds. At higher speeds, the system monitors the driver to make sure hands stay on the wheel.
Mercedes-Benz said, “Developed on the basis of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the S 500 Intelligent Drive research vehicle autonomously covered the approximately 100 kilometers between Mannheim and Pforzheim … it did not have the road “all to itself”, but had to negotiate dense traffic and complex traffic situations.”
Thomas Weber, head of product engineering for Mercedes said, “Our approach is, let’s not do it with a special car with a lot of antennas, let’s do it with a standard car.”
However, Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will start selling S 500 Intelligent Drive by 2020. Lately the company has released a video of its S 500 Intelligent Drive concept car, a journey of more than 60 miles driving completely autonomously.