Stuttgart regional council has granted the carmaker permission to test the next generation of autonomous vehicles on public roads. The current development focus for the new test car fleet is the autonomous car that comes to me conveniently by app – without a driver.

The aim of the autonomous test car fleet based on Mercedes-Benz V-Class vehicles is to carry out in-depth testing of the latest sensor generation and the DAVOS operating system (Daimler Autonomous Vehicle Operating System) in real-life traffic. As well as Lidar sensors, new features on board include cutting-edge deep learning technologies and graphic processing units (GPUs), the likes of which have rarely been used in the automotive field to date. On safety grounds, trials involving fully automatic driving will continue to be overseen by specially trained drivers in the car.

Mercedes-Benz initially received approval for the testing of autonomous vehicles on German roads back in 2011, which led on to the successful retracing in August 2013 of Bertha Benz’s historic journey of 125 years earlier from Mannheim to Pforzheim. On the basis of the experience acquired on this trip and countless other test runs, Mercedes-Benz has developed what is known as the Daimler Autonomous Vehicle Operating System (DAVOS) for autonomous vehicles.

This new fleet of test cars marks a further important milestone for Mercedes-Benz on the road to autonomous driving.