Mercedes-Benz Makes History: World’s First Approval for Special Exterior Lighting in Automated Driving in California and Nevada


Breaking New Ground: Mercedes-Benz Secures World’s First Approval for Automated Driving Marker Lights in California and Nevada

Mercedes-Benz has achieved a historic milestone as the world’s inaugural automaker to obtain permits for specialized exterior marker lights for automated driving, issued by the states of California and Nevada. The California exemption permit, initially granted for two years, allows testing of turquoise-colored marker lights on freeways for automated driving. Meanwhile, the Nevada permit permits the incorporation of these lights into Mercedes-Benz Model Year 2026 production vehicles until legislative changes are enacted.

These groundbreaking permits mark a significant step forward for Mercedes-Benz, providing invaluable insights into the interaction between automated vehicles and other road users. The turquoise-colored marker lights, developed in accordance with SAE J3134 Recommended Practice, enhance public acceptance of automated driving by clearly indicating the system’s status to external observers. This visibility not only contributes to road safety but also aids law enforcement in identifying the automated driving system’s status, ensuring compliance with regulations.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Chief Technology Officer, emphasizes the brand’s commitment to setting new industry standards: “With the development of automated driving marker lights, Mercedes-Benz is once again setting new industry standards. We are the first automaker in the world to receive such approvals in the U.S., specifically in California and Nevada. The more automated driving vehicles populate the road, the more important communication and interaction between the vehicle and the environment become.”

The pioneering use case for these marker lights is in conjunction with DRIVE PILOT, the world’s first SAE-Level 3 system for conditionally automated driving with internationally valid type approval. DRIVE PILOT, certified in Germany in 2021 and in Nevada and California in 2023, is already available for orders in Germany, with production vehicles making their debut on California and Nevada freeways.

The turquoise color was chosen for its visibility, aiding rapid detection by other road users, and its differentiation from existing vehicle lighting and traffic signals. Mercedes-Benz aims to standardize the use of turquoise lights globally, emphasizing safety and advancing technical innovations for automated driving. While California and Nevada have taken the lead with granted exemptions, the pursuit of a globally harmonized regulation for turquoise marker lights is on the horizon, ensuring heightened safety for all road users.

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Mercedes-Benz Breaks Ground with Level 3 Automated Driving System Approval in Beijing


Mercedes-Benz has marked a significant milestone by becoming one of the initial automakers to secure approval for a Level 3 automated driving road test license in Beijing. Since 2021, the company has been actively conducting proving ground tests for its conditionally automated driving systems in China.

The global automotive giant seamlessly integrates its extensive international research and development experience with a dedicated local team in China. Through collaboration with local partners and a meticulous adaptation to regional regulations, Mercedes-Benz tailors its products to meet the specific needs of the Chinese market.

In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz achieved a groundbreaking feat by receiving the world’s first internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving. The DRIVE PILOT, part of the Level 3 system, has been available in Germany since May 2022, featured in the S-Class and EQS sedan.

On December 16, the company solidified its commitment to innovation by obtaining approval for the Level 3 automated driving highway road test license in Beijing. Mercedes-Benz is set to initiate testing on designated highways, ensuring adherence to its ‘safety first’ principle. The collaboration with relevant authorities underscores the company’s dedication to developing Level 3 systems for China and delivering a secure and reliable automated driving experience for Chinese customers.

Mercedes-Benz has a longstanding history as a pioneer in automated driving, dating back to 1986 with adaptive cruise control testing. Today, it stands as the only car manufacturer globally with both the first internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving and a SAE Level 4 driverless parking system in operation. In China, the company has been conducting Level 3 system tests for years.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Chief Technology Officer, expressed the company’s commitment to providing a superior customer experience worldwide. He emphasized the importance of the testing license in Beijing as a crucial step in preparing conditionally automated driving for Chinese roads.

The Level 3 system, DRIVE PILOT, incorporates redundant safety measures for reliability. It utilizes sensor technology from the Driving Assistance Package, augmented with additional sensors such as LiDAR, advanced stereo cameras, microphones for emergency vehicle signals, and a moisture sensor. Redundant steering and braking systems, along with an onboard electrical system, ensure maneuverability and a safe handover to the driver in case of system failure.

The activated DRIVE PILOT allows drivers to engage in secondary activities, such as communication via In-Car Office, web browsing, or leisure activities like watching a movie. Mercedes-Benz introduced DRIVE PILOT as an optional conditionally automated driving system in Germany in 2022, with plans for customer deliveries in California and Nevada in early 2024.

Mercedes-Benz takes a step-by-step approach to system design, prioritizing safety. The company aims to expand the availability of conditionally automated driving on freeways to up to 130 km/h by the end of the decade. In the interim, Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce intermediate steps, including a system capable of 90 km/h when following a vehicle on the German highway.

The localization of Mercedes-Benz vehicles for the Chinese market involves close collaboration with the local R&D team. This interdisciplinary team of engineers, lawyers, compliance managers, data protection experts, and ethics experts works together for the development and approval of the conditionally automated driving system. Proving ground testing and validation in China have been ongoing since 2021 to optimize system performance for China’s unique road infrastructure, traffic conditions, and regulatory environment.

Since 2005, Mercedes-Benz has expanded its R&D capabilities in China, establishing a comprehensive network outside of Germany. The China R&D team is expected to grow to 2,000 people by the end of 2023, reflecting the company’s commitment to local talent and collaborative innovation.

In the realm of automated driving, Mercedes-Benz continues its collaboration with local authorities to bring innovative technologies to Chinese customers, contributing to the development of intelligent connected vehicles in China. The company’s forward-looking approach positions it as a leader in the automated driving technology landscape, dedicated to providing a safe and reliable driving experience for customers worldwide.

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Mercedes-Benz Redefines Luxury with MBUX Virtual Assistant at CES 2024


Mercedes-Benz is ushering in a new era of luxury with the debut of its AI-powered MBUX Virtual Assistant at CES 2024. This groundbreaking technology takes the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice assistant to new heights, introducing high-resolution game-engine graphics from Unity for a visually immersive experience. Operating on the Mercedes-Benz Operating System MB.OS, the MBUX Virtual Assistant seamlessly integrates intelligent systems into a unified entity, offering a natural and expressive interaction with users.

Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, highlights the brand’s commitment to reinventing the digital passenger experience. The MBUX Virtual Assistant goes beyond mere functionality, incorporating empathetic characteristics that synchronize with the driver’s style and mood. This innovative approach, coupled with the in-house MB.OS architecture, sets the stage for the future of digital luxury.

At CES 2024, the Concept CLA Class makes its North American premiere, providing insights into the future family of vehicles based on the Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) and MB.OS. The event also showcases the North American debut of the camouflaged prototype of the electric G-Class, offering a glimpse into the electric future of this iconic model. Exciting developments in in-car entertainment, including a groundbreaking partnership, further enhance the CES 2024 experience.

For a firsthand look at these defining moments, visit Mercedes-Benz at booth #4941 in the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Mercedes-Benz Vans Unleashes the Future: Elevating Midsize Mobility with Enhanced Design and Cutting-Edge Connectivity for 2024

Mercedes‑Benz Van
Mercedes‑Benz Van

The imminent launch of Mercedes-Benz Vans’ new midsize van series, designed for both private and commercial use, marks a pivotal moment in the company’s renewed business strategy. This series introduces a fresh exterior and interior design, heightened comfort, and enhanced functionality, particularly through advanced digital connectivity options and upgraded safety features.

Starting January 2024, customers can place orders through sales partners and online for the revamped midsize van lineup, boasting extended standard equipment and streamlined equipment packages. Pricing begins at 46,210.80 euros for the Vito Mixto, 47,074.02 euros for the panel van, and 57,924.44 euros for the Vito Tourer. The eVito is priced from 63,438.90 euros as a panel van and 68,397.63 euros as a Tourer. The V-Class and EQV MPVs start at 59,469.00 euros and 75,410.00 euros, respectively, while the V-Class Marco Polo camper van starts at 80,005.00 euros.

The company has implemented a refined strategic approach, emphasizing a premium strategy for commercial vans (eVito and Vito) and a luxury strategy for newly developed midsize vans for private use, aligning with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. This shift will be fully realized with the introduction of the Van Electric Architecture (VAN.EA) from 2026 onward. The EQV, V-Class, and V-Class Marco Polo serve as crucial milestones in this strategic transition.

Klaus Rehkugler, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Vans, expressed the company’s goal to provide the most desirable vans and services across various segments. The enhanced luxury positioning of EQV, V-Class, and V-Class Marco Polo, along with the premium character of eVito and Vito, enables a more focused approach in high-margin regions and sectors.

Key updates in the midsize van series include:

  1. New Exterior and Cockpit Design: The EQV, V-Class, V-Class Marco Polo, eVito, and Vito feature a distinctive visual identity with a prominent grille, adaptive MULTIBEAM LED headlights, and new paint colors. The interior receives a wide-screen cockpit, stylish air vents, and a next-generation steering wheel.
  2. Comfort and Functionality: The series introduces the KEYLESS start function, optional steering-wheel heating, ambient lighting with 64 colors, and a dimmed rear lighting feature. The V-Class and EQV now have a standard sliding door on the left-hand side for convenient rear access. The Vito Tourer, Mixto, and eVito Tourer offer the electric EASY-PACK tailgate for the first time.
  3. MBUX Multimedia System: The latest generation of the MBUX multimedia system, standard across the midsize van portfolio, provides an interactive and digital experience. Additional functions, including ENERGIZING comfort control, enhance the driving experience for EQV, V-Class, and V-Class Marco Polo.
  4. Intelligent Connectivity and Extras: The MBUX system, in conjunction with a Mercedes me account, offers digital extras such as maintenance, accident, and breakdown management. Intelligent navigation, car-to-x communication, and extended MBUX functions with the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant are part of the offerings.
  5. Driver Assistance Systems: Safety and assistance systems, including Active Brake Assist with intersection function, Blind Spot Assist, and Active Lane Keeping Assist, have been enhanced. The midsize vans now feature the adaptive MULTIBEAM LED headlights with Highbeam Assist PLUS and a new driver assistance package.
  6. Wide Range of Drive Systems: Customers can choose from various drive systems, including the all-electric EQV and eVito Tourer models with two battery sizes. The EQV offers an electric range of up to 363 kilometers, while the eVito Tourer provides up to 370 kilometers. The midsize vans also feature efficient diesel and new petrol engine options.
  7. Upgraded Standard Equipment: Mercedes-Benz Vans has significantly improved the standard equipment and simplified equipment packages, making it easier for customers to select functional options that are often bundled together.

The new midsize van series reflects Mercedes-Benz Vans’ commitment to delivering innovative, comfortable, and connected vehicles for diverse customer needs.

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Unleashing Power and Precision: Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé Redefines Performance with Cutting-Edge Features

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé

Revolutionizing Performance: Mercedes-AMG Introduces the CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé with Advanced Features and Unmatched Power.

Mercedes-AMG CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé

Mercedes-AMG is setting a new standard in the entry-level performance coupe segment with the debut of the CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé. Boasting the latest generation MBUX with AMG-specific functions, a dynamic mild-hybrid six-cylinder inline engine, and a fully variable all-wheel drive with active rear-axle steering, this two-door masterpiece combines the agility of the C-Class with the spacious luxury of the E-Class.

Under the hood, the 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line engine has undergone a thorough upgrade, now delivering an impressive 330 kW (449 hp) and a maximum torque of 560 Nm (with overboost reaching 600 Nm for 12 seconds). The integrated starter-generator adds a burst of 17 kW (23 hp) and 205 Nm of torque, feeding the 48-volt on-board electrical system. Paired with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission and AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the CLE 53 promises an exhilarating driving experience.

Visually, the coupe features iconic elements like the long hood, sloping windshield, and a sporty rear. The front section boasts the distinctive “Shark Nose,” AMG-specific A-shaped radiator grille, and full-LED headlights, including optional DIGITAL LIGHT headlights. The rear, characterized by flowing surfaces and LED lights, enhances the coupe’s muscular profile.

Interior sophistication meets cutting-edge technology with the latest MBUX infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital driver display, and an 11.9-inch central display. The integral seats in ARTICO man-made leather/MICROCUT microfiber, red seat belts, and glossy carbon trim add a touch of sporty elegance to the cabin.

The heart of the CLE 53 is its inline six-cylinder engine with integrated starter generator and electric additional compressor, delivering enhanced torque availability and overall engine response. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission ensures quick shifts, while the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT and AMG DYNAMICS offer customizable driving experiences.

With a fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, and standard rear-axle steering, the CLE 53 provides optimal traction, agility, and driving safety. Optional packages like the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS add further sporty details, including the RACE driving program with Drift Mode and a performance steering wheel.

Mercedes-AMG continues to redefine performance, combining advanced technology, powerful engineering, and elegant design in the CLE 53 4MATIC+ Coupé.

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