Can a Mercedes Benz drive itself?

This brief article will explain different levels of vehicle autonomy and answer the following question: Can a Mercedes Benz drive itself? Lastly, we take a look at driver assistance systems in Mercedes Benz passenger cars that reduce the load on the driver while driving the vehicle.

Can a Mercedes Benz drive itself?

No, A Mercedes Benz cannot drive by itself and the presence of a driver is always required in the vehicle. Mercedes Benz features driver assistance systems that can accelerate and brake automatically but the driver must be ready to take control of the vehicle. 

Remote parking pilot is the only feature where the presence of a driver inside the vehicle is not required. The vehicle can be driven in a straight line to pull out of tight parking spaces, it is controlled by activating a remote park pilot by the smartphone app.

Advanced driver assistance systems like Distronic plus, steering assist and drive pilot which uses a radar sensor and cameras can only reduce the strain on the driver over a long journey. The driver has to be alert of surroundings at all times.

What are the levels of vehicle autonomy used in Mercedes Benz cars?

Vehicle autonomy is classified into six levels, depending on the equipment installed in the vehicle, different levels of vehicle autonomy are as follows

  • Level 0- this is manual control of a vehicle. The driver is in complete control of the vehicle, there may be safety systems like an electronic stability program that can intertwine and aid the driver to control the vehicle. This intervention is not called automation since it does not drive the vehicle.
  • Level 1-  Cruise control and Distronic assistance systems fall under the level 1 category. It is the first step in automation. Cruise control can increase or decrease the speed and Distronic uses radar to maintain a set distance to the vehicle in the front. The driver only needs to operate the steering and monitor speed and braking.
  • Level 2- most Mercedes Benz vehicles available today are classified as level 2 automation. Advanced driver assistance systems like Distronic plus, active steering assist and active brake assists are present on the vehicle. The presence of a driver is still required but driver inputs like steering speed and brake can be automated.
  • Level 3- Mercedes Benz models equipped with active park assist, active collision prevention, fall under this category. Radar sensors, stereo cameras and proximity sensors are used to scan the environment. The vehicle can perform complex tasks such as detecting parking spaces and parking the vehicle without any driver inputs. It can also accelerate to avoid a collision if a vehicle approaches fast from behind. The driver can override these systems and take control of the vehicle
  • Level 4- in level 4 automation vehicles can intervene in the event of an accident or loss of control while driving without input from the driver. Collisions are also predicted and if the driver does not respond to audio warnings, the vehicle will reduce the speed or brake in certain cases. Level 4 also has full automatic driving mode but the speed is restricted at 40 to 60 km/hr.
  • Level 5- production vehicles are not available with level 5 automation. Level 5 automation requires complex sensors like Lidar, radar, and infrared cameras. Driver input devices like steering, brake and accelerator will no longer be present in the vehicle. Level 5 will offer fully autonomous driving.

Driver assistance system in Mercedes Benz cars.

Active park assist is active at speeds below 20kmph. Proximity sensors located on the front and rear bumpers scan for parking space in both vertical and horizontal directions. Available parking space is displayed on the command screen, when the driver starts the active park assist vehicle will park by itself without any inputs from the driver. 

Distronic plus, in combination with active steering assist, uses small and long-range radar sensors located behind the front and rear bumpers. Once the driver sets the desired speed and distance from the vehicle in front, Distronic plus can control the speed and even accelerate and overtake without any intervention from the driver. Active steering assist also helps to keep the vehicle in the correct lane.

Remote parking pilot can drive the vehicle without a driver present inside the vehicle. The vehicle can be parked into tight spaces and the driver controls the inputs from a smartphone app. It is only possible to drive the vehicle in a straight line and at speeds less than 10 kmph.

Drive pilot is used in the 2022 Mercedes Benz s class. Driver pilots can be engaged only on highways; it is a lidar-based system. The driver is not in control of the vehicle when the driver is active and the driver can relax. Driver pilots can take decisions and control the vehicle without any inputs from the driver. The speed is limited to only 60kmph

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

Can a Mercedes GLB tow a caravan?

Can a Mercedes A class tow a caravan?

Can the Mercedes auxiliary battery be charged?


Even with advanced driver assistance systems, current production cars are far from complete automation. Mercedes Benz is one of the few manufacturers which provides level 3 automation in the vehicle. The presence of a driver is always required and the driver can override these systems to take control of the vehicle.

FAQs: Can a Mercedes Benz drive itself?

Does Mercedes have autopilot?

Mercedes-Benz offers level 3 automation in the vehicle; the vehicle can drive automatically but the driver must remain aware of the surroundings. 

Can a Mercedes S class drive itself?

Yes, Mercedes Benz s class can drive by itself. S class is available with level 3 automation.

Can a vehicle brake in level 1 automation?

Yes, vehicles can apply brakes in level 1 automation and help to safely manure vehicles in and out of tight spaces.

Can Mercedes EQS drive itself?

Mercedes EQS is a level 3 autonomous vehicle it can conditionally drive automatically at limited speed 

How does attention assist work in Mercedes?

Attention assists monitor journey time and erratic driver inputs, if the driver is operating without taking a break, attention assist will alert the driver to take a break.