It’s easy to glaze over when you hear the word ‘autonomy’ these days given how much it is bandied about the automotive industry.

Nearly every manufacturer claims they are at the forefront of autonomous driving and they’re all testing autonomous mules left, right and centre. But what does it all actually mean for the cars that we can buy today?

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class to front new engine line-up

Salute then, the updated Mercedes-Benz S-Class, whose autonomous technological advancements are the most notable in some time. Braking for you around bends? Tick. Speeding up again when you’re out the other side? Tick. Slowing down for tolls? Tick. You get the idea. Mercedes has managed to put its money where its mouth is and introduced a car which sets the bar for other manufacturers to live up to, at least for a year or two. 

It’s not without its flaws – a recent passenger ride showed the S-Class couldn’t identify the difference between variable speed limits based on times of the day, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

Lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring systems and the rest now seem old hat. So then, the S-Class is back on top… for now, at least. But with Audi’s new Audi A8 also coming this year - and promising major autonomous strides - it might not be on top for long.

Is the car-buying public ready for autonomy?

Autonomous tech to make driving a 'luxury persuit'

Click here to read the latest Shanghai motor show coverage