Mercedes-Benz Takes Legal Responsibility for Its Automated Driving Systems

Mack Hogan, Road and Track:

Mercedes’ new Drive Pilot seems, in operation, like many “traffic jam assistant” technologies already on sale today. On certain highways, below 40 mph, a Drive Pilot-equipped S-Class or EQS will take control of the car’s speed, steering, and brakes to move you along in traffic. But there’s one key difference: Once you engage Drive Pilot, you are no longer legally liable for the car’s operation until it disengages. You can look away, watch a movie, or zone out. If the car crashes while Drive Pilot is operating, that’s Mercedes’ problem, not yours.

Good. It is wrong to blame users of these systems when manufacturers are so enthusiastic about their capabilities. Every vendor should be this keen to stand behind its products.