Frankfurt -- CCM News., Mercedes-Benz has successfully completed the first autonomous cross country and inner city drive, using near-production-standard sensor systems. The Mercedes-Benz S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE research vehicle covered 100 Kilometer from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany, under real traffic conditions and complex situations including traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrians, cyclists and trams. Mercedes-Benz will reveal the full details of the first autonomous long distance drive at the Mercedes-Benz Media Night, Monday September 9 at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
While other companies have shown selfdriving cars either on closed roads or using complex technologies, Mercedes-Benz achieved this goal with the aid of near-production-standard technologies, very similar to those already available in the new E and S-Class.
The route was not arbitrary chosen but retraced that taken by motoring pioneer Bertha Benz exactly 125 years ago when she boldly set off on the very first long-distance drive.
For Mercedes-Benz the autonomously driving car is not the attempt to ban the driver from the driver seat. While self driving cars will be a reality of future mobility, it is first and foremost the next logical step on the way to accident free driving; LEAVING THE DECISION TO THE DRIVER WHETHER OR NOT the car to take over when needed or wanted. The S-500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE stands in a successful tradition at Mercedes-Benz introducing groundbreaking technologies.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, Mercedes-Benz has presented 14 research vehicles - from the Auto 2000 of 1981 through to the F 125! of 2011. Many of the systems presented in these research vehicles, which were still considered a utopian ideal in those days, are now standard features in Mercedes-Benz production cars.