Mercedes-Benz, the third largest luxury automaker in the world recently revealed its upcoming E Class sedan would be able to take over the driving duties on motorways and country lanes, in another incremental step that will one day land fully autonomous capabilities.
Daimler’s upcoming next generation E Class sedan is still months away from the showrooms, as the model will go on sale around March next year and the technology will graduate from test situations in a bid to showcase the progress done since back in 1998 – when the Mercedes S-Class flagship was able to adjust the driving speed depending on the car in front with its adaptive cruise control. “Innovations in this area are coming thick and fast,” comments Thomas Weber, Daimler’s head of development. “While we don’t want to feed wrong expectations such as sleeping in the car, autonomous driving is set to become a reality much more quickly than the public thinks.” Driverless features are one area where Mercedes-Benz has been hard a t work in an attempt to gain an edge over larger German rivals Audi and BMW as the No.3 seeks world leadership by the start of the next decade. The carmaker has also opted to test the limits of current regulation on self-driving features – as they usually require the driver to be able to assume command at all times.
The luxury E Class sedan is the main competitor to BMW’s 5 Series, Audi’s A6 or Lexus’ GS and delivering a feature that is not yet available in the flagship S Class shows the level of commitment to the midsize segment, seen key in advancing the brand’s sales.