With General Motors recently announcing that it has asked the US Department of Transportation for permission to put a fully autonomous car on the road by 2019, the race to develop Level 4 cars are on. But some automakers seem to holding back on this endeavor realizing the shape shift, that’s occurring in the industry.
Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, revealed Tuesday that the German manufacturer is opting to progressively introduce autonomous features to normal passenger cars, rather than develop a car exclusively with autonomy in mind. Although Zetsche is confident in Mercedes’ strategy, he reportedly admits that the company isn’t at the forefront of the driverless revolution — nor is any other traditional automaker.
We definitely will go for Level 3. A car which has a steering wheel which is driven by a human being, but has all this capability and the safety net around, for a long time from a safety perspective, it’s the best of both worlds.
– Dieter Zetsche, CEO Mercedes Benz Cars
Despite the fact that organizations such as GM and Mercedes are taking such dramatically different approaches to autonomy, the latter claims the two development paths ultimately will converge, resulting in the same end products.