Just when you thought the automotive industry couldn’t get more innovative, Mercedes-Benz has announced the introduction of a fourth light color, marking a first in automotive history. Traditionally, vehicles come equipped with three light colorations on the exterior, each serving distinct purposes:
White: headlights and reverse lights provide visibility during low-light conditions and when backing up.
Red: brake lights and rear lights illuminate to signal braking and indicate the vehicle’s presence to the rear.
Amber: turn signals activate to indicate a change in direction, enhancing safety during lane changes and turns.
Now, Mercedes is breaking away from the norm by adding a marker light designed specifically for autonomous vehicles – turquoise! This vibrant blue hue will set a new standard, appearing only when a driver activates Mercedes’ Drive Pilot mode.
What is Drive Pilot Mode?
Mercedes Drive Pilot Mode is a SAE Level 3 self-driving system that offers one of the highest levels of automation. It enables the vehicle to handle various driving tasks autonomously, such as steering, acceleration, and braking, within certain conditions, such as traveling under 40 miles per hour.
While operating in Drive Pilot Mode, the vehicle can navigate through traffic, maintain a set speed, and stay within designated lanes, providing a more relaxed driving experience. In fact, you can even take your eyes off the road without fretting over potential dangers on the road.
Of course, we know Mercedes is always at the forefront of automotive excellence, however, this unique light marker offers a new level of connectivity that we haven’t seen before. The brand has already deemed it an absolute necessity, not only for improving traffic safety but for informing police officers of when drivers aren’t actually driving.
Image source: CNN
Light color for autonomous vehicles: what to know
Carefully chosen for visibility and differentiation, this unique turquoise color brings forth a new era of automotive production. As the future gears toward electric and autonomous models, automakers are constantly look for ways to break free from the conventional while enhancing driver safety.
Mercedes is no stranger to safety innovation, and this light feature is likely just the start of what’s to come.
According to CNN Business, “The Society of Automotive Engineers recommends this specific blue shade to signify autonomous vehicle operation but Mercedes is the first automaker to receive approval for its use. The lights will appear at the back and front of the vehicle around the taillights and headlights.”
Restrictions and available models
The turquoise lights will signal to other drivers that the vehicle is under full automation, addressing concerns about the driver’s attention. When someone outside the vehicle sees the driver looking away, the unique color alerts them without assuming negligence. The Drive Pilot system, featuring this innovation, is set to launch in early 2024 on Mercedes S-class and EQS models.
Currently, only California and Nevada have given the green light to the new marker lights. They are also the only states to accept Mercedes Drive Pilot Mode. However, we anticipate swift normalization across various states, and even adoption of this light technology with other automakers.
This approval represents a significant milestone in the advancement of autonomous driving technology. While safety concerns have long accompanied the integration of self-driving cars into everyday life, the turquoise light color for autonomous vehicles will enhance both the car’s aesthetics and its ability to communicate crucial information to fellow drivers.