Does Mercedes-Benz Have a Self-Driving Car?

There’s no fully self-driving Mercedes, but the Driving Assistance Package available on the S-Class comes close.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Mercedes-Benz’s Driving Assistance Package offers a suite of Level 2 autonomous driving features across all of its 2020 model years and newer, including the flagship S-Class, GLE, and E-Class. Mercedes Pre-Safe, Distronic, and Attention Assist are some of the most advanced technologies available.
Automotive companies are racing to introduce the world’s first fully autonomous vehicle. While Level 2 autonomous driving offers conveniences and cool perks, truly self-driving cars have yet to enter the U.S. commercial market… but Mercedes-Benz is close. 
Here to break down Mercedes-Benz’s current self-driving car technology is the
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Mercedes-Benz insurance costs
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Does Mercedes-Benz have a self-driving car?

Not yet, but they offer the most advanced self-driving features available in the United States. 
In late 2021, Mercedes-Benz became the first automotive company in the world to receive international approval to sell
Level 3 autonomous vehicles
. Its Drive Pilot autonomous system is expected to become an option on the S-Class sedan in the U.S. in 2023. 
For now, the most enhanced Mercedes advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) available is dubbed Intelligent Drive (also referred to as the Driving Assistance Package). This Level 2 system is available across the entire Mercedes lineup. 
Level 2 vehicles are not able to drive entirely on their own but can perform independent functions under the supervision of a driver. 
Like many automotive manufacturers, Mercedes seeks to enhance safety and make the driver experience more comfortable with their current Level 2 autonomous technology. One feature—called Distronic—can automatically maintain a preset following distance. Another—Attention Assist—can recognize drowsiness and inattention and alert the driver.
Here’s a full rundown of the tech featured in the Mercedes-Benz Driving Assistance Package
  • Pre-Safe Impulse Side—physically moves passengers away from danger once it detects an imminent collision. If it senses an oncoming impact with another vehicle, it will instantly raise the body’s suspension and direct forces toward more resilient areas of the vehicle. 
  • Distronic—automatically maintains a preset distance from cars ahead. It also offers route-based speed adaptation, which slows the vehicle as it approaches exits, roundabouts, tolls, and other slow-down scenarios.
  • Congestion Emergency Braking—offers a collision-prevention response to stopped vehicles or other objects on the road when moving up to 80 mph.
  • Attention Assist—detects driver drowsiness and inattention and alerts the driver to take a break.
  • Active Blind Spot Assist and Exit Warning Function—warns of lateral collisions in speeds ranging from 6 mph to 124 mph and will auto-brake last minute at speeds exceeding 18 mph. It can also detect passing pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Evasive Steering Assist—helps the driver avoid colliding with another vehicle, particularly if said vehicle suddenly swerves.
  • Lane Keeping Assist—will selectively brake the wheels when it detects lane drift and/or a collision with adjacent drivers. 
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist—will bring the vehicle to a safe stop if the driver falls asleep or suffers a sudden medical emergency. The system will also activate flashers and place an emergency call for help.
  • Traffic Sign Assist—warns of posted speed limits and will alert the driver if the vehicle is close to running a red light or stop sign. 
  • Parktronic With Active Parking Assist—will park the vehicle for you, no hands required. 
Mercedes-Benz clearly has an extremely healthy Driving Assistance package, which has undoubtedly helped it win multiple
IIHS Top Safety Pick+
awards in 2022 (and several previous years). Experts at
describe the tech as simple, intuitive, and convenient. But they also say Level 2 technology has some pain points—like slowing by 20 to 30 mph and overreacting when auto-braking. 
Key Takeaway The Mercedes-Benz has an extensive and advanced assortment of self-driving features rated as SAE Level 2—particularly on the latest S-Class sedan. 

How do self-driving cars work? 

Fully autonomous cars aren’t effortlessly zooming around quite yet—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t already commercially available vehicles with self-driving capabilities. Confused? Let us explain. 
The self-driving cars of science fiction fantasy worlds require an immense load of technological innovation in real life. Vehicles with autonomous capabilities use cameras, radar sensors, LiDAR, and GPS to perceive, detect, and monitor the driving environment. Advanced software processes visual data using deep learning algorithms to autonomously execute actions like braking, accelerating, and steering. 
SAE defines automation from fully manual to fully autonomous with six levels. 
  • Level 0: No automation—the human driver is performing all tasks without assistance from the vehicle. 
  • Level 1:Driver assistance—the vehicle can handle one driving task at a time (like steering, braking, or acceleration), while the human controls all other driving tasks. 
  • Level 2:Partial automation—the vehicle can perform two or more driving tasks at one time, but the driver has to stay fully alert and engaged at all times. (Current Mercedes-Benz autonomous technology).
  • Level 3:Conditional automation—the vehicle has environmental detection capabilities and can perform most driving tasks, but the human must be ready to take control at all times. (Mercedes-Benz autonomous technology predicted for 2023 release.)
  • Level 4: High automation—the vehicle can execute all driving tasks under specific conditions and human intervention is optional.
  • Level 5: Full automation—the vehicle can drive autonomously under all conditions without human attention or interaction.
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The 5 best Mercedes-Benz vehicles with self-driving technology

Until the release of the Drive Pilot Level 3 autonomous driving system, Mercedes owners have only one option for advanced self-driving technology capabilities. Currently, drivers can either stick with the standard driver-assistant features or upgrade to the more advanced Driving Assistance Package at an additional cost. 
Newer Mercedes-Benz vehicles come with standard driver-assistant features that are Level 2 autonomous, including the following: 
  • Active Brake Assist—will alert the driver if it determines a high collision risk. Using radar, it will automatically apply the brakes if the vehicle gets too close or is driving too fast toward a vehicle, stopped object, or crossing pedestrians ahead. 
  • Crosswind Assist—detects strong wind gusts (or passing trucks) and brakes one side of the vehicle to keep it on course.
  • Blind Spot Assist—uses radar technology to determine when a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot and will illuminate a warning in the side mirror. If a turn signal is also engaged, a warning sound chimes.
  • Emergency Call—will automatically call and transmit the vehicle’s GPS location and vehicle information to emergency responders if it detects a deployed airbag.
  • Attention Assist—monitors driving behaviors and will alert the driver if it senses drowsiness or inattention. 
Mercedes-Benz undoubtedly has some of the best self-driving technology and is poised to release Level 3 (and 4) technology soon. So, how do you know what to look for? Here are a few of the best Mercedes-Benz vehicles with premier self-driving perks.
Vehicle type
Car and Driver Rating
Starting price
2022 S-Class
2021-2022 E-Class
Sedan, coupe, and convertible models
2021-2022 GLE
2022 EQS
EV Sedan
2021-2022 C-Class
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