Toronto, Ontario — Mercedes has become the first automaker in the United States to be approved to use turquoise-coloured exterior lights for an autonomous vehicle pilot.
The turquois-coloured exterior lights are meant to specifically indicate the status of the automaker’s SAE Level 3 vehicles.
Dubbed the Drive Pilot project, Mercede’s Level 3 self-driving system allows drivers to hand over primary control to the car at speeds up to 40 mph. When drivers are using the Level 3 functions, the turquoise coloured lights are intended to signal to other drivers that a self-driving system is in use.
Mercedes has been approved to trial the lights for 2 years in California in the new year as well as Nevada beginning in 2026.
On the California test vehicles, the turquoise markers will appear in the car’s headlights, tail lights, and side mirrors.
Mercedes claims that the unique colour-use has the potential to make people more comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars. The company says the lights will improve traffic safety and also help police officers know when drivers aren’t the ones in total control.
The turquoise colouring was chosen for the lights because the automaker feels that the shade provides reliable visibility and is easily distinguishable from other existing traffic lights.
The company says it hopes to help standardize the turquoise marker lights for use on cars around the world.
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