Mercedes S-Class Confirmed For 2020 With Level 3 Semi-Autonomous Driving Tech

Mercedes is working on an all-new S-Class and company’s next CEO has confirmed the model will arrive in 2020 with Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology.

Speaking to Auto News Europe, Ola Kaellenius said “We are on the verge of jumping to Level 3, which is our target for the next S-Class.” He went on to say the system will be optional on the company’s flagship sedan and noted the technology will spread “relatively quickly” to other models.

While the Audi A8 became the first German luxury sedan to offer Level 3 semi-autonomous driving technology, Mercedes still expects to beat BMW to the punch. Since the production version of the iNext isn’t due to arrive until 2021, Kaellenius said the “timeframe should be realistic” for Mercedes to beat their arch enemy to market.

Level 3 systems are a significant improvement over Level 2 systems which include Cadillac’s Super Cruise, Tesla’s Autopilot and Mercedes’ current technology. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) says Level 3 systems offer “conditional automation” which means the driver is “not required to monitor the [driving] environment,” but “must be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times with notice.” This as opposed to Level 2 systems where the SAE says “the driver must remain engaged with the driving task and monitor the environment at all times.”

Kaellenius didn’t go into specifics about the S-Class’ Level 3 system, but he has previously said the technology will be priced similarly to other options on the S-Class. That’s not too specific, but the Driver Assistance Package on the S450 is a $2,250 option.

Little else is known about the model, but previous spy photos have shown the sedan will have an evolutionary design and a new interior with an even larger digital instrument cluster.

more photos...

Photo Credits: CarPix and S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • Jay

    Not required to monitor but ready to take over at anytime.. ??

  • Carenthusiast

    Audi offering L3? Just a PR show as it doesn’t work yet!

  • C Noi

    audi L3 is bs.

  • bxniels0

    Does anyone know what those holes are in the headlights just above the main headlight. Are they perhaps cameras or something?

  • SteersUright

    I wish MB would return to their boxier design language. The new ones all look like smooshed jelly beans.

  • Kagan

    Audi doesn’t have level 3 it was just marketing gimick.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Taking a step back and away from this, I think to myself “the year 2020, and we are still on 4 wheels, and ostensibly not much of a change from 1910.”

    • Cobrajet

      Thank goodness.

  • Javokhir_Sam

    did anyone notice that air vents on dashboard is movable which is perhaps hidden away when you dont need them. Hello A8!

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