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Mercedes-Benz deploys HERE HD Live Map for DRIVE PILOT system

HERE is one of the first companies in the world to provide an HD map for commercial production vehicles with Level 3 automated driving capabilities HERE Technologies, the leading location data and technology platform, announced today that its HD Live Map is an integral part of the new Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT. DRIVE PILOT is the first commercially available SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Level 3 automated driving system designed to operate a vehicle under certain conditions in Germany. Using the HERE HD Live Map, it allows an automated vehicle to “see around the bends” by providing the vehicle system with accurate road network information in advance. Starting with the new S-Class, Mercedes-Benz plans to commercially launch its DRIVE PILOT later this year.



When activated, DRIVE PILOT controls vehicle speed as well as distance to the vehicle in front and guides a car safely into its lane without any driver input. The highly accurate, cloud-based HERE HD Live Map plays a vital role in its technology by providing the system with detailed three-dimensional road network data. In combination with input from vehicle sensors, map data is used by the DRIVE PILOT to maneuver a vehicle on the public road network.



The HERE HD Live Map consists of multiple layers providing information to let a car know exactly where it is and what to expect.


For example, it can allow a vehicle to proactively adapt to changing road conditions, such as adjusting its speed before an upcoming lane closure. This is possible thanks to HERE's advanced mapping technology which provides both the accuracy and freshness of its HD Live map. “In combination with extensive sensor data, DRIVE PILOT receives information about road geometry, route profile, traffic signs and unusual traffic events (e.g. accidents or road works) from an HD DIGITAL map, which is a key element of automated driving.



Its ultra-precise positioning system goes far beyond the usual GPS system. This allows us to give back to our customers one of the most precious things in life: time – combined with a luxurious driving experience”, says Georges Massing, Vice President MBOS: Automated Driving, Powernet & E/E Integration , Mercedes-Benz AG.


“We are delighted to be among the first companies in the world to provide an HD map for production vehicles capable of self-driving at SAE Level 3,” said Edzard Overbeek, CEO of HERE


Technologies. “At IAA 2013, we pioneered the concept of an HD map as an essential component of automated driving with Mercedes-Benz as part of the S 500 Intelligent Drive research project on the Bertha Memorial Historic Route Benz. Since then, we have continued to develop, refine and scale our HD mapping technology. Today, we're excited to see that Mercedes-Benz drivers will soon be able to officially take their hands off the wheel under certain conditions, while our HD Live Map helps DRIVE PILOT drive them safely and comfortably. »


13,191 KM OF MOTORWAY CONCERNED

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has validated Mercedes' Drive Pilot advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). The manufacturer can market vehicles with this system in countries where the laws allow it. Mercedes intends to market its new generation of S-Class equipped with Drive Pilot in Germany from the first half of 2022. Drive Pilot can also be offered on the EQS range.


The vehicle can drive autonomously on pre-defined motorway sections in Germany – this concerns 13,191 kilometers of roads – at speeds of up to 60 km/h in heavy traffic or congested conditions. When Drive Pilot is engaged, the system controls speed and distance. The vehicle is guided to stay in its lane. The system can also react to unexpected traffic situations and perform lane avoidance or braking manoeuvres.


When Drive Pilot is activated, the driver can do completely other things, such as online shopping, sorting through emails or watching a movie directly via the vehicle screen. More applications are accessible on the vehicle screen. Apps that are blocked when the driver is in control.


A LIDAR IS NEEDED

Drive Pilote works with sensors from the Driving Assistance Package system and additional sensors including lidar, rear window camera and microphones to detect lights and signals from emergency vehicles. A humidity sensor is also added at the wheel. Beyond the data from the sensors, the in-vehicle system receives information about road geometry, route, traffic signs and unusual traffic events from a digital HD map.


Mercedes ensures that vehicles equipped with this technology have redundant steering and braking systems as well as a redundant on-board electrical system. The HD cartography embedded in the vehicle is regularly updated.


If the driver does not regain control of the vehicle after several warnings, an emergency braking and parking system is provided, and the emergency services are notified.



Mercedes-Benz plans to make DRIVE PILOT available for the first time in its new S-Class in the fourth quarter of this year. Initially, it will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode at legally permitted speeds of up to 60 km/h in heavy traffic or congested conditions on suitable motorway sections in Germany. Over time, the system will be integrated into other Mercedes-Benz models and extended to cover suitable motorway sections in other regions.

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