If you see a Mercedes driving with blue flashing lights, the car is in self-driving mode and the driver is probably busy with things other than driving. So be on your guard.
It is a smart idea from Mercedes to show the surroundings when a car is on autopilot. Since the technology for autonomous driving works well, but not yet perfectly, we would keep an extra close eye on any self-driving car.
Mercedes chooses to use blue, sorry turquoise, lighting. The warning lamps are placed in the headlights and taillights, and near the exterior mirrors. It certainly stands out, but we wonder whether turquoise is a color that conveys 'self-driving car'. We associate the color with electric driving.
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Don't let Mercedes hear our doubts about turquoise, because the brand has done extensive research to come up with just the right color. A good reason why it turned turquoise is that it does not resemble existing traffic or emergency lights.
In the Netherlands you will not easily encounter turquoise lights. Mercedes is the first car brand to receive permission for this type of lighting, but so far only in California and Nevada. In California it is only allowed on the highway.
The models that Mercedes is testing are the Mercedes EQS in Mercedes S-class. The self-driving technology is called Drive Pilot and supports level 3 autonomous driving. Drive Pilot is already available in Germany and recently also in California and Nevada.
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We are curious whether fellow road users will abuse these clearly recognizable cars. For example, by throwing their pick-up in front of a self-driving Mercedes, knowing that Drive Pilot will intervene and brake anyway.
This post was last modified on December 22, 2023 6:08 am
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