MERCEDES CARS BEING TAUGHT TO DRIVE THE AUSSIE WAY

Mercedes-Benz_Canberra
Just about everyone I speak to wants to discuss self driving cars. Mercedes-Benz is one of the leaders in this field and its engineers and a special S-Class have just been flown Downunder from Stuttgart to look at some problems unique to our country.

To start with there are the infamous Melbourne hook-turns that mystify interstate drivers. I know of some who simply refuse to drive in that city as the hooks scare them.

Turning right from the left of the left-hand lane is something the autonomous Mercs will need to learn. Hmm, that will get the onboard computers scratching their bits and bytes in confusion.

Mercedes-Benz_Melbourne

Then there are kangaroos, wombats, emus, koalas, spiny anteaters, cattle, even camels (yes, camels!) bouncing and/or wandering across our roads.

Australia’s road traffic system is increasingly using electronic displays with variable speed limits. These are fitted with a bright white LED display, a red LED ring and a yellow LED warning lamp and are able to display not only speed limits but also simple symbols and letters.

Mercedes-Benz_Albury

In the third leg of the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent World Drive, the test car, based on an S-Class production model, is here for several weeks. Mercedes-Benz Australia has been testing automated driving functions with its own test vehicle based on the E-Class for most of 2017. Obviously this has been in close cooperation with the Research and Development Center in Germany.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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