Mercedes ‘Intelligent World Drive’ Tests Autonomous Tech on 5 Continents

Mercedes-Benz is looking to test an autonomous driving S-Class on five continents.

Mercedes-Benz is progressing on an ambitious world tour to showcase its autonomous technology called Intelligent World Drive. The plan is to use a vehicle based on the S-Class, with self-driving capabilities, to collect data and test the car in a variety of traffic situations. The initial launch tested the car in Germany with the next step going on now in China, followed by Australia in November, South Africa in December, and a final leg at CES in Las Vegas this January. The car will not be driverless; rather it will have varying autonomous tech working as it rides along. That’s five continents of traffic jams, texting drivers, and road rage

Speaking on the event was Ola Kallenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. 

“Recording, processing and interpreting highly-complex traffic situations is the key to safe automated and autonomous driving. This is particularly demanding in dense urban traffic. This is why we are deliberately testing our automated driving functions in everyday driving situations in large cities. In this way, not only do our vehicles become more intelligent, they also become safer.”

The “Intelligent World Drive” team at Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz

Each leg of the journey will have a different focus, with the team gathering data on specific driving behaviors given the countries’ own specific peculiarities. The focus in Germany is going to be on how drivers act in traffic jams. In China, it’s all about how to navigate the dense traffic in Shanghai. Melbourne will bring a test of the latest in digital maps. In and around Cape Town, South Africa, the goal will be to use the available maps in everyday use. Finally, the drive from LA to Las Vegas will not only include dense urban traffic study but also how traffic overtakes on the right on highways.

So if you find yourself on the road to CES in January, don’t freak out if you see an S-Class coming down the highway literally ghostriding the whip