The new and updated Mercedes-Benz S-Class might have been revealed in India with the first India-built BS-VI engine just now. But at the other side of the world, on the Detroit stage, the German carmaker has already revealed their plans of autonomy which will definitely be spearheaded by the flagship S-Class at the turn of the decade.
Daimler, the parent company of the Three-Pointed Star, is currently working towards Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving technology. But before completely eradicating the human intervention in driving at Level 4 and 5, the carmaker plans to roll out the Level 3 system which is promised to enter the production vehicles by 2020. The Level 3 system enables the car to drive itself in almost all conditions and yet need a human assistance occasionally. As with all the technological debut from the Stuttgart based carmaker, the new Level 3 autonomy will kick start with the flagship Luxo-barge, the S-Class. However, it will be an optional extra initially, according to the carmaker.
Daimler was a pioneer in driving aids and hardware a decade ago. Now that the new-gen Audi A8 is here with a tour de force of advanced technology (including autonomous credential), the Stuttgart-based carmaker cannot sit back and relax. Last year, Daimler partnered with Bosch to deliver Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving systems by the early 2020s. The two Stuttgart-based firms are working together with a plan to introduce a robotaxi program. This program aims to serve individuals in certain parts of different cities around the world. Daimler also has a Car2Go car-sharing platform which would benefit from the autonomous hardware in the coming years.
The Level 4 and Level 5 is still some years away from hitting the roads given the cost of integrating such technologies into a vehicle, admits the carmaker. However, the Level 3 would be an ideal way to start, especially in a chauffeur-driven flagship like the S-Class