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article imageMercedes pulls ad for self-driving car because it's misleading

By Karen Graham     Jul 31, 2016 in Technology
Mercedes-Benz has pulled an advertisement for their 2017 redesigned E-Class sedan after criticism from a number of consumer groups who claim the ads are misleading.
The advertising campaign allegedly compared the new 2017 E-Class with a future self-driving vehicle, and the consumer groups called the company to task on the ad.
U.S.-based Consumer Reports even went so far earlier this week as to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look into the company's "The Future" advertising campaign which apparently touts the self-driving features available in the new E-Class, reports Reuters.
AutoBlog described the ad, saying the driver is shown taking his hands off the steering wheel and not putting them back on, despite the fact that the E-Class's Drive Pilot system requiring the driver to take control of the steering wheel every 30 seconds
AutoBlog also mentions there was a company disclaimer at the bottom of the ad which states the car cannot drive itself. For this reason, Consumer Reports claims the ad could be misrepresenting the car's features and misleading buyers into thinking the car can drive itself without any input from the driver.
Donna Boland, a spokeswoman for Mercedes told Automotive News the ad for the 017 E-Class was pulled because of the "potential for confusion."
Mercedes' Drive Pilot is part of Mercedes' Driver Assistance package and has automated steering and some advancements in its cruise control system, which Mercedes claims gives it some autonomous capabilities but does not make it a self-driving car.
Actually, in a Press test drive in Lisbon, Portugal recently, it was noted that as far as the Pilot Drive system's information being given to the driver, Tesla's AutoPilot system gave even more information. But the big selling point with the Mercedes E-Class was the fact that a driver could not keep his hands off the steering wheel indefinitely.
This is where Mercedes has jumped ahead of Tesla. The car warns the driver after 30 seconds of no driver contact with the steering wheel, and after repeated warnings and no driver-contact, the car will slow down and come to an automatic stop. But Mercedes, like Tesla, warns prospective buyers they need to be in control of the car and the technology that's been added is to assist the driver.
"While the new E-Class has a host of technology that will serve as the building blocks for increasing levels of autonomy, it is not an autonomous vehicle and we are not positioning it as such," Mercedes-Benz said, according to Fortune.
More about mercedesbenz, E Class, selfdriving car, Advertisement, Misleading
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