Going Hands-Free With Mercedes’ Drive Pilot Promises a More Relaxed Future

Hey, you got games in your car?


I’m in the front passenger seat of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, streaming a video of chief designer Gordon Wagener talking about the car. Normally that wouldn’t be newsworthy, except I’m watching the video on the S-Class’ central infotainment screen, and the driver is watching it, too. We’re testing out Mercedes’ Drive Pilot, the world’s first Level 3 hands-free assistance system to gain regulatory approval for production, and it’s got me excited for a more relaxing future.

This specific S-Class is a Euro-spec S580 named Adele that’s been in use around Los Angeles for months as a validation prototype, gaining data on the roads and fine-tuning the system. There are only a few giveaways from the outside that this S-Class has Drive Pilot: A pair of lidar sensors integrated into the grille, a small hump at the back of the roof that houses

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