Stuttgart/New York: In a pioneering move, Mercedes-Benz has secured the first-ever permits for the use of special exterior marker lights designed for automated driving in California and Nevada, setting new industry benchmarks.
Innovative Marker Lights for Enhanced Safety and Communication: The permits, which are a milestone in the automotive industry, allow the integration of turquoise-coloured marker lights into Mercedes-Benz’s testing vehicles. These lights, conforming to SAE J3134 standards, are positioned in the front and rear lights, as well as on the outside mirrors, making the status of automated driving systems visible to other road users and law enforcement.
California and Nevada Lead the Way: The California permit, valid for two years, and the Nevada permit, applicable to 2026 model year production vehicles, are pivotal in gathering insights on the interaction between automated vehicles and their environment.
DRIVE PILOT – The First Use Case: Mercedes-Benz will initially incorporate these marker lights into California-based testing vehicles equipped with DRIVE PILOT, the first SAE-Level 3 system for conditionally automated driving with international approval. DRIVE PILOT, already available in Germany since 2022 and recently launched in the U.S., demonstrates the brand’s leadership in automated driving technologies.
Why Turquoise?: The choice of turquoise for the marker lights is strategic. This colour is easily distinguishable from existing vehicle lighting and traffic signals, reducing confusion and enhancing detection by road users. Turquoise’s effectiveness has been proven through extensive tests, underlining its physiological and psychological advantages over other colours.
Global Standardization Efforts: Mercedes-Benz advocates for the standardization of turquoise as a universal symbol for automated driving. While there’s currently no global regulation for using turquoise lights, the exemptions granted by California and Nevada mark significant steps towards a unified approach, aiming to increase safety and foster technological advancements in automated driving systems.
Mercedes-Benz’s Commitment to Innovation: According to Markus Schäfer, Board Member and Chief Technology Officer at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, these developments underscore the brand’s commitment to setting new industry standards and enhancing the integration of automated vehicles on roads.
This advancement not only signifies a leap in automotive technology but also paves the way for improved road safety and clearer communication between automated vehicles and their surroundings.