Mercedes-Benz lights

Turquoise Lights for Autonomous Vehicles

Mercedes-Benz has achieved a pioneering milestone in the US automotive industry by obtaining permits to use turquoise-colored lights on its vehicles to indicate autonomous driving. This development makes them the first automaker in the US to utilize such a distinctive feature for self-driving systems.

Traditionally, vehicle lighting systems have been restricted to white, red, and orange for specific purposes, with other colors like dark blue designated for official use, such as by police. Mercedes-Benz’s introduction of turquoise lights, approved for use in California and Nevada, represents a significant shift in automotive design and regulation.

In California, Mercedes-Benz is authorized to test these turquoise lights on their vehicles for a two-year period, while in Nevada, they are allowed to incorporate this feature in their 2026 production models. The turquoise lights are specifically linked to the activation of the Drive Pilot system, Mercedes-Benz’s Level 3 advanced driving assistance system (ADAS). This system permits hands-free driving, allowing the driver to divert attention away from the road under certain conditions, such as in heavy traffic on designated highways at speeds of 40 MPH or less. However, it’s restricted to daytime use, clear weather, and is not suitable for construction zones. The driver is also required to remain alert and not leave the driver’s seat.

The use of turquoise lighting aims to inform other road users that the vehicle is operating under autonomous control, potentially reducing confusion or alarm if they observe the driver not actively controlling the vehicle.

Drive Pilot-equipped EQS Sedan and S-Class models are expected to be available through participating dealers in California and Nevada in early 2024.