The next-gen Mercedes S-Class will follow the footsteps of the latest Audi A8 by offering Level 3 autonomous driving. The three-pointed star’s first model with a self-driving system allowing conditional automated driving is due in 2020.
The latest development was revealed by Ola Kaellenius, Daimler’s head of research. Speaking to reporters at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Kaellenius said: “We are on the verge of jumping to Level 3, which is our target for the next S Class.”
Asked whether Daimler will roll out its first Level 3 self-driving system before BMW (with the Vision iNext’s production version), Kaellenius indicated a confident yes. “The next S class is due for 2020, so the timeframe should be realistic,” he said.
In Level 3 autonomous driving, the vehicle can handle the driving at low speeds, say in a slow-moving traffic on a highway for instance. The automated driving system performs all dynamic driving tasks, but the driver is required to take over as soon as it reaches its limits, which may vary in different countries.
Among other advanced technologies, the all-new Mercedes S-Class will feature the all-new MBUX infotainment system that debuted in the 2018 Mercedes A-Class this year. Natural voice recognition offered by this system, activated by saying “Hey Mercedes”, will make voice commands simpler and less robotic. This system will feature augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
The next-gen Mercedes S-Class will see a higher usage of electrification. However, while enhancements for the plug-in hybrid variant are obvious, reports suggest that a pure electric variant is still a few years away. There’s no word on the conventional engines, but it’s safe to assume that options will include a variety of six-cylinder and eight-cylinder mills, and maybe even a few four-cylinders for Europe and twelve-cylinder units powering the top-spec Maybach and AMG variants.
[News Source: europe.autonews.com]
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