Turquoise lights on the outside mean the Mercedes is driving itself

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The hip color for 2024 — at Mercedes-Benz, at least — is turquoise.

Turquoise is, in fact, more that just a cool shade of blue-green in the Germans’ palate: Turquoise colored marker lights in the brand’s EQS sedan and S-class will indicate that the cars are moving autonomously.

This will occur in California and Nevada. Those states are the first in the U.S. to approve Mercedes’s SAE Level 3 self-driving system technology, dubbed Drive Pilot, for use on public roads. 

The program, running as a test for two years, will debut in California with series production models of the 2026 EQS sedan and S-class. On the California test vehicles, the turquoise markers will appear in the cars’ headlights, taillights, and on their side mirrors. Mercedes hopes to eventually “standardize” the turquoise signals in vehicles globally.

Besides opting for the distinctive look, Mercedes said that it chose turquoise for its visibility and distinctiveness from the colors used for traffic signals and traditional vehicle lighting. They’ll also be used to signal to other road users — and to police — that the company’s SAE Level 3 autonomous-driving system is active.

Turquoise lights on the outside mean the Mercedes is driving itself

With Drive Pilot in use by early next year, Mercedes says, drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel and perform “secondary activities” on the car’s infotainment display, such as sorting emails and online shopping. Usable at speeds up to 40mph, Mercedes says that if any system fails there are braking and steering fail-safes to safely maintain control of the car until the driver regains control.