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California DMV conditionally approves Mercedes-Benz’s automated driving tech

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(Reuters) – The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday approved Mercedes-Benz’s automated driving system on designated highways under certain conditions without the active control of a driver.

The German carmaker beat competitors such as Tesla, Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise in becoming the first carmaker to receive authorization to sell or lease cars with an automated driving system to the public in California. However, this approval is subject to certain limitations.

The approval was granted to Level 3 Mercedes-Benz ‘DRIVE PILOT’ system that allows a driver to legally take their eyes off the wheel but must be available to resume control if needed.

The ‘DRIVE PILOT’ system can only operate on highways during daylight at speeds not exceeding 40 miles per hour, the DMV said.

The permit grants Mercedes-Benz permission to offer its ‘DRIVE PILOT’ system on California highways in the Bay Area, Central Valley, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego and on interstate highway connecting Southern California to Nevada.

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz also received an approval to deploy advanced automated driving systems on Nevada’s roads.

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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