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Mercedes-Benz Rolls Out Automatic Lane Change for 15 Models Across Europe

  • Europe-wide rollout of the system for a total of 15 models in 33 countries
  • Around 200,000 cars can be subsequently updated via an over-the-air update
  • Automatic Lane Change function for overtaking slower vehicles ahead
  • Function increases convenience for customers
  • System can also help navigate exits and change motorways

Mercedes-Benz is enhancing partially automated driving in Europe with the introduction of the Automatic Lane Change (ALC) function. This feature, now available in the Driving Assistance Plus Package, is set to be rolled out across 33 European countries. The ALC function can be integrated into 15 Mercedes-Benz models, including the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, GLC, CLE, EQE, EQS, EQS SUV, and EQE SUV, either directly from the factory or through an over-the-air update.

In addition to new car configurations, Mercedes-Benz is offering the ALC function to approximately 200,000 existing vehicles in Europe. Starting in September 2024, this new assistance feature can be installed via an over-the-air update using the car’s mobile phone connection. This update will be available for all models in the current E-Class series (214) as well as the CLE Coupé and Cabriolet. Additionally, it will cover the C-Class, S-Class, GLC, EQE, and EQS (both Saloon and SUV) from the 23/1 modification year onwards. Customers will be notified about the availability in their regions and can initiate the update through the MBUX infotainment system or the Mercedes me App.

The ALC function adds to the more than 40 driving assistance systems already offered by Mercedes-Benz. This feature enables the vehicle to automatically change lanes on suitable motorways when Active Distance Assist Distronic is activated, allowing for overtaking slower cars or following the route to the next exit. Initially introduced in North America in 2023, the ALC function has also been tailored for Chinese customers by Mercedes-Benz China, with adaptations for regional traffic conditions and legal requirements.

“With the Automatic Lane Change function, Mercedes-Benz is once again demonstrating its innovative strength in the development of new driving assistance systems. We simultaneously developed the Automatic Lane Change function, or ALC for short, in North America, Europe and China for our local customers. With ALC, Mercedes-Benz is offering a driving function as an over-the-air update for the first time,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer.

System-Initiated Lane Change Without Driver Impulse

The “Automatic Lane Change” function is user-friendly and intuitive. The driver sets the desired speed in the adaptive cruise control (Active Distance Assist Distronic), while Active Steering Assist, which is automatically activated, manages the automatic lane changes on the motorway. As a Level 2 system, the driver remains responsible for the vehicle at all times.

Radar sensors and cameras continuously monitor the car’s surroundings to facilitate overtaking slower vehicles and returning to the original lane. Additionally, the feature can initiate automatic lane changes to navigate relevant motorway junctions or exits when route guidance is active.

In Europe, the Automatic Lane Change function operates within a speed range of 80 to 140 km/h under specific conditions: the navigation system must recognize a suitable motorway with at least two separate lanes, lane markings must be detectable by the car’s cameras, and there must be sufficient free space available. Despite the automation, the driver retains responsibility for driving at all times.

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