(CNN) – Most cars in the United States have three-color lights on the outside. White for headlights and taillights, red for brake lights and taillights, and amber for turn signals, at least the front ones. The addition of a fourth color has just been approved for Mercedes-Benz: lights Turquoise Which indicates that the car is from its manufacturer Activate self-driving.
Currently, the new color of lights has only been tested in California and Nevada. These are the only states where Mercedes’ “conditionally autonomous” Drive Pilot technology is legal.
Mercedes Drive Pilot can be used in traffic jams, on some major motorways, when vehicles are traveling at less than 65 km/h. In these conditions, the driver can take his feet off the pedals, let the steering wheel and – in this way differ from any other driver assistance system – completely take his eyes off the road.
All other driving assistance systems, including Tesla’s so-called Full Self-Driving system and GM’s Super Cruise system, require the driver to pay attention to what’s happening around the car. Mercedes Drive Pilot allows the driver to constantly take his eyes off the road until the system alerts him that he needs to take control, for example when traffic is accelerating. Meanwhile, the driver can browse the Internet or play games on the car’s large central screen (although the car’s sensors ensure that the driver does not fall asleep).
The light blue color was chosen because it is eye-catching and cannot be confused with anything. It is not the same color as any other passenger car light, but it is also distinctly different from the dark blue color used by police and other emergency vehicles.
The Society of Automotive Engineers recommends using this specific shade of blue to indicate vehicle autonomy, but Mercedes is the first automaker to get approval to use it. The lights will appear at the back and front of the car, around the taillights and headlights.
The turquoise blue lights are necessary, according to Mercedes, to alert passing drivers and police that the car is under full automated control. This way, when someone outside the car sees the driver looking away from the road, they won’t think they’re doing something wrong.
Mercedes Drive Pilot will be available on Mercedes S-Class and EQS models in Nevada and California starting in early 2024. The technology will not work on any roads outside of California and Nevada.
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