Despite the fact that the vehicle’s autonomous functions have been shown unable to compete with Tesla’s Autopilot, and may not even be particularly safe, Mercedes-Benz has decided to advertise the 2017 E-Class as a “self-driving car” … temporarily.
According to keen observers, the advertisement — which goes: “Introducing a self-driving car from a very self-driven company” — has already been pulled in the US because it was determined to be “deceptive.” Nonetheless, you have to wonder if the ad wasn’t largely a response to Tesla’s Autopilot technology.
What’s the takeaway of this? The takeaway for me is that, despite not having a comparable product to Tesla’s, nor a truly self-driving car (of course), the company recognizes that that’s the future of the industry and what many high-end luxury vehicle buyers now want?
Considering the frequency with which self-driving cars have been talked about in the news as of late (partly as a result of the much-discussed fatal Autopilot car wreck), there are no doubt many people who are itching to buy one.
And with Mercedes-Benz’s reputation, there are probably a fair number of people who would prefer to buy an autonomous car from the German automaker rather than from Tesla (bless them — they don’t know any better). But how long until Mercedes brings a truly self-driving car to market? Probably at least a few years at the earliest…. Which leaves one wondering about the judgement of the people behind the recent ad. The wording is indeed quite deceptive. (For the record, I find much of Tesla’s wording concerning “Autopilot” to be deceptive, and dangerous, as well.)
(Hat tip to “raynewman” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for posting a pic of the recent ad.)