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Mercedes Pulls Away in Race for Street-Legal Autonomous Cars

Mercedes Pulls Away in Race to Develop DMV-Approved Autonomous Cars

Californians, on average, drive over 13,000 miles a year, and with current gas prices, many have decided to switch to electric vehicles. The EV landscape in the state has begun to shift in recent months, with Mercedes-Benz passing up Tesla in the race for Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) approved automatic driving systems.

Tesla is a leading force in California, which consists of 16 percent of the company’s total global deliveries. But Tesla has competition. EV companies have been working towards automatic driving for the past few years, and CNBC reports that Mercedes has received the authorization to sell the Level 3 Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT. However, at the moment, the self-driving feature is only authorized to be used during daylight and only on highways 40mph or less in “the Bay Area, Central Valley, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego and on interstate highways connecting Southern California to Nevada.”

Mercedes can’t slow down now since there are several other autopilot systems on the horizon. CNBC reports that other options on the market include “Tesla’s Autopilot or General Motors’ Super Cruise [that] are classified SAE Level 2, which handle driving tasks but require drivers to pay attention at all times.” 

This is the future of the EV industry, and what does it mean for the standard automotive? Time will tell if the rest of the United States will follow California’s lead and if Tesla will be able to take back the baton in the race for self-driving cars. It’s going to be an exciting ride!