Production-bound Mercedes E-Class gets autonomous vehicle license

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is capable of driving on its own right out of the box.

Mercedes-Benz's all-new 2017 E-Class has been granted an autonomous vehicle license by the state of Nevada, marking the first time ever the state has approved a regular-production vehicle for its self-driving program.

Nevada has been granting autonomous vehicle licenses since 2011, but, until now, those vehicles have required extensive modifications such as roof-mounted sensors and modified steering. That won't be the case for the new E-Class; Mercedes says the luxury sedan will only require a few software adjustments to its DRIVE PILOT control system in order to pilot Nevada's roads on its own.

"The fact that Mercedes-Benz is the world's first vehicle manufacturer to be awarded such a license shows that we are a step ahead when it comes to autonomous driving,” said Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "The new E-Class is therefore another big step to the fully automated vehicle.”

Mercedes has yet to officially unveil the 2017 E-Class (its introduction is scheduled for next week's Detroit auto show), but the announcement indicates that the luxury sedan will come packed with several advanced safety and convenience features. A fully-autonomous E-Class, however, is likely still a few years out.

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