US: Mercedes-Benz Gains Approval for Turquoise Automated Driving Lights

Mercedes-Benz has received the world’s first approval to use specific exterior lighting for automated driving in the states of California and Nevada.

In California, the permit will allow the company to test turquoise-coloured lights to signify that a car is driving autonomously on freeways.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, the permit will enable new production vehicles to be equipped with marker lights. This will begin with Model Year 2026 EQS and S-Class DRIVE PILOT vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz is the world's first automobile manufacturer to receive permits for special exterior marker lights for automated driving
Mercedes-Benz is the world’s first automobile manufacturer to receive permits for special exterior marker lights for automated driving

These approvals mark the further development of Mercedes-Benz’s DRIVE PILOT, which is currently the only certified SAE-Level 3 conditionally automated driving system in the US.

The newly acquired permits will allow Mercedes-Benz to gain insight into how automated vehicles interact with other road users.

It is anticipated that the inclusion of marker lights will help enhance public acceptance of automation while contributing to road safety.

Furthermore, by clearly displaying the automated driving system’s status on the exterior of the vehicle, traffic law enforcement and police officers will be able to identify the system’s status and determine whether drivers are authorised to engage in other activities.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, Development & Purchasing said:

“With the development of automated driving marker lights, Mercedes-Benz is once again setting new industry standards. We are the first automaker in the world to receive such approvals in the US, specifically in California and Nevada. The more automated driving vehicles populate the road, the more important communication and interaction between the vehicle and the environment become.”

The turquoise-coloured marker lights for automated driving in California will be integrated into the front and rear lights and the two outside mirrors in Mercedes-Benz testing vehicles.

The turquoise colour was selected due to its visibility to other road users and its differentiation from existing vehicle lighting and traffic signals.

Mercedes-Benz now hopes to standardise this colour choice for automated driving worldwide.

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