Three 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans have been awarded a test license for autonomous driving on Nevada's interstates and state highways, the automaker announced at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Specially trained drivers will test the three standard-production sedans and intervene for turning, merging, and departing. Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (NDMV) rules also stipulate that there must be one passenger behind the wheel and a second passenger in the vehicle on test drives.
Earlier iterations of autonomous driving test vehicles required special hardware and software including additional sensors, modified steering and an adapted electronic stability control. The 2017 E-Class is already equipped with intelligent technology, and can be tested with only smaller software modifications to the Drive Pilot control unit.
The test vehicles are identified by a red license plate reserved for autonomous driving.
Nevada passed autonomous driving rules in June 2011. Two self-driving Daimler trucks have been in operation on public roads since May.