Mercedes-Benz just beat Elon Musk’s Tesla in its home ground

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Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) ended more than 5.0% down on Monday after rival Mercedes-Benz (ETR: DAI) became the only certified Level-3 autonomous car company in the United States.

Tesla is still stuck at Level-2 automation

Mercedes’ latest S-Class and EQS Sedan with the “Drive Pilot” system equipped with Level-3 automation are now expected to be available in Nevada in the back half of 2023.

The option has been available and deemed road safe in Germany since late 2021. Mercedes did not reveal what the system will cost in the U.S. In its homeland, it’s priced at $8,000 for EQS and $5,300 for the S-Class.

In comparison, Tesla is still stuck at Level-2 automation and even that costs a much higher $15,000. Year-to-date, though, shares of the EV maker are up nearly 60% at writing.

A brief overview of Level-3 automation

What Level-3 automation means is that the vehicle can “handle all aspects of driving” under certain conditions and the driver can even engage in other secondary activities.

More importantly, Mercedes says it’ll take full responsibility in case of an accident caused when Drive Pilot is in control. It dubs the L3 self-driving capability on both sedans suitable for motorways, up to the speed of 40 mph.

That’s a meaningful defeat for Elon Musk who’s been promising fully autonomous vehicles for over a decade.

Nonetheless, Tesla did recently beat BMW to become the top luxury car brand in the United States (read more) – and Wall Street continues to recommend buying Tesla shares as well.

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