Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets first public autonomous driving license in Nevada

January 7
10:50 PM 2016

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is now the first "standard-production" vehicles to get public autonomous testing license in Nevada.

"Nevada is proud to serve as the location where Daimler, an international automotive leader, can explore and test the possibilities of its cutting-edge autonomous vehicles," said Governor Brian Sandoval in a report by Motor Trend. "By collaborating with revolutionary, sustainable and creative endeavors Nevada is working to be at the forefront of emerging innovative technologies."

Autoblog reported that there are other driveless cars applying for license in the state, but required extra sensors and modifications. The autonomous cars will have red license plates to be identified. Autonomous driving cars were required to have special hardware and software before being allowed for testing in the past. They should have modified steering, additional sensor and ESP.

However, for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, only small modifications are needed. Mercedes-Benz's E-Class already has the technology needed, and its engineers only need to make minor changes to the Drive Pilot control software to drive the road.

A law that allows autonomous vehicles to drive the roads of Nevada was approved in 2011. Since 2012, prototypes have hit the road. After that companies that develop driverless cars have been flocking the state. Some of these companies are Audi, Google and Kia.

Daimler, Mercedes' parent company also considers running autonomous test for big rigs, like its Freightliner brand.

Auto Car Professional wrote that self-driving tests are allowed in all of Nevada's interstates and state highways. It requires human drivers for merging, turning, and departing. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (NDMV) rules also states that there should be a passenger behind the steering wheel and another passenger during test drives.

As of now, there are two self-driving trucks on Nevada's public roads. It has been operating since May 2015. Meanwhile, the 2017 E-Class will be in Detroit next week.

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