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.
Courtesy : https://media.mercedes-benz.com