Self-driving technology is only just starting to really blossom, though not one vehicle can truly claim to be fully autonomous just yet.
However, Mercedes-Benz believes the recent production start of the 2018 S-Class is a moment for the history books. Why? Because the updated luxury sedan is able to drive itself off the production line.
Without anyone behind the wheel, the 2018 S-Class fires up and sets off to a predetermined loading area within the assembly plant, located in Sindelfingen, Germany. In total, the S-Class travels 1.5 kilometers (nearly one mile) on its own accord before parking and awaiting shipment.
Mercedes says new technology ensures the S-Class makes the journey unscathed. Cameras, together with radar and ultrasonic sensors work in concert along with software to give the S-Class self-driving capabilities.
But what the brand calls “Intelligent Drive” will offer some self-driving capabilities for the road, too. The S-Class will be able to adjust automatically adjust its speed based on a number of various road conditions. Highway exits, junctions, roundabouts, and toll booths are all handled with ease, according to Mercedes. The car also continues to be capable of handing some highway driving on its own, though still requires constant monitoring by the driver in case of an emergency.
The 2018 S-Class is scheduled to go on sale this fall. It offers a host of updates to ensure it retains its reputation of being one of the world’s most opulent and technologically advanced sedans. With over 300,000 units sold since the current S-Class went on sale in 2013, Mercedes is likely looking at another leather-lined home run.