Mercedes Benz 2017 E Class “Drive Pilot”

Like many people, I am interested in some of the advanced driver safety systems available today. To not have to swing my stiff neck over my shoulder to see in my blind spot, or for the car to stop itself in an emergency situation-those features sound pretty good. But am I be ready for a car that can drive itself?

Tesla, a beautifully designed and well-marketed electric car, has received bad press lately related to its auto pilot features.

I’m not a Tesla enthusiast so yes I pay attention to the news, but it doesn’t quite strike home.

However, I am interested in development in Mercedes Benz vehicles. And perhaps MBUSA timed it wrong with the release of“The Future” , a television commercial talking about “Drive Pilot”, an advanced cruise control feature and automated steering system.

The commercial was removed from broadcast television, after consumer groups challenged the commercial’s accuracy. A long-format version exists here explaining the advanced system, as well as a copy of “The Future”  the disputed commercial (or a version?)  featuring a self-driving concept car v the 2017 E-Class.

The Automotive News article notes that the commercial did have a disclaimer-“Vehicle cannot drive itself, but has automated driving features. The system will remind the driver frequently to keep hands on the steering wheel. Always observe safe driving practices and obey all road traffic regulations.”.

So, when does a vehicle really become auto-pilot? Is it even possible in light of all of the variables in any and all driving situations?

Many of the advanced driving systems use cameras mounted on the front windshield so we will continue to observe developments.