Mercedes-Benz would love for you to consider its technology akin to magical software. When Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra is the one using those words, however, they might hold a bit more weight. The executive for Skynet Google feels that way because of a close-call he had while driving his S-Class.

Traffic had stopped in front of him, but Gundotra didn't notice. His Mercedes did, however, and the electronic nannies brought the car to a complete stop without a lick of input from Vic. He was so impressed with the technology that he decided to write the automaker a letter to thank them for installing the system into its cars.

That thank you comes from a source that understands software, so Mercedes decided to reach out to Gundotra. The Google exec agreed to appear in a commercial for Benz, and he wasn't paid for his participation. Click past the jump to see the 30-second spot.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 84 Comments
      PeteK
      • 3 Years Ago
      I develop avionics flight control software as a day job. We use 10-9 probability of failure for this software, which comes from process and historical analysis. We use .1 probability of failure for human error, again from historical analysis. I'm guessing the MB software/hardware is very close to that 10-9 failure rate. Even if you consider yourself an incredibly skilled driver who is constantly engaged, you WILL make mistakes far more often than this safety equipment, and it WILL save your bacon in that case. Considering it may be me you're about to plow into, i'll take this emergency functionality any day over a road full of 'I'm the greatest driver because I don't have any software' folks.
      sparrk
      • 3 Years Ago
      The truth is, these kind of accidents do happen. Even if ALL visitors on this site are expert drivers and NEVER had an accident, there is always a possibility for someone else to drive into you. Then that car's software will save your life.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sparrk
        [blocked]
          Casey Jensen
          • 3 Years Ago
          Nobody is "relying on software." It's there as a just in case. There's not anyway to force people to be alert and attentive 100% of the time. People are human. I have no doubts that this software has prevented crashes that otherwise would have happened.
      Kris
      • 3 Years Ago
      Traffic had stopped in front of him, but Gundotra didn't notice. Wow! Hire a driver please!
      dviper92
      • 3 Years Ago
      someone needs to stop looking at their Android phone and drive their car
        John Hughan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dviper92
        Exactly! So why exactly DIDN'T you notice that traffic in front of you had completely stopped, Mr. Gundotra???
      IchiroA
      • 3 Years Ago
      Im surprised by all the negative comments here! I think this is great and should be standard in all cars! Most people behind the wheel are horrible drivers so why not make it safer for ME (us) to share the roads with them? If I was the car in front of this Mercedes I would also send them a letter thanking them.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IchiroA
        [blocked]
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh god. Mercedes-Benz and Google are going to start working together. It's definitely the start of Skynet. Where's Sarah and John Connor when you need them?
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bet he sent that thank you to MB via his Android phone while driving.
      Stephen
      • 3 Years Ago
      excellent looking benz. damn. and as far as all these negative comments... **** happens out there. nice to have a car that can help avoid it.
        PoMoMangler
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stephen
        I think was is frustrating about this commercial (and another in the same vein from MB) is that is brushes off the fact that people are being inattentive or falling asleep at the wheel as something that "happened" to them, like it was out of their control. Of course s*** happens out there and not all accidents are avoidable, but it is MB's off-handed condoning of inattentive driving that ticks me off.
      David
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mercedes just saved his ass from being sued for millions.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm for technology like this BUT only if it blast through the speakers afterward "PAY ATTENTION YOU IDIOT!!" as the lights flash and a quick 5 second alarm sounds so everyone knows that the nanny aid kicked in because your to much of a idiot to pay attention while driving. Would force people to pay attention for fear that the tech would kick in and embarrass the hell out of them. Oh and it wouldn't be able to be turned off either. You have the system on alerts and all or off all together.
      adam1keith1980
      • 3 Years Ago
      For those who dislikes new cars with technologies, why not just buy old cars?
      MrWhopee
      • 3 Years Ago
      You guys are way too harsh! He's a Google executive, for heaven's sake. Even CEO of an automakers are not necessarily a good driver. How well can Luca di Montezemolo (Ferrari CEO) drive? Danny Bahar (Lotus)? Dan Ackerson? Even the vaunter Michael Schumacher once rear-ended someone with a Fiat van. We're human, we'll make mistakes once in a while. If something in the car can save us from serious damage or even injury, why not?
        cadd
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MrWhopee
        agreed; as someone who loves old, simple cars (my favorite car ever was my dad's rusted out 460 powered 71 mustang, and i'm currently driving a 5-speed 87 wrangler), i agree with these nanny systems that prevent crashes. it's not like these systems can be abused by someone who just wants to sit in traffic with their foot on the gas and let the car do the stopping for them; when the car hits the brakes for you, its at 100%, which would be too harsh and painful for someone who was just a slacker. with the number of idiots who drive and crash high end cars in my town (that's before you even start talking about my fellow classmates who are given those cars), i'd love to see all new cars with this. that being said, i'll still probably be driving some old V8 with the correct number of pedals under the dash. but for the people who view a car as an appliance, and don't care about driving and are more likely to hit me, i hope they have this system
        ksrcm
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MrWhopee
        MrWhopee: "If something in the car can save us from serious damage or even injury, why not?" Because it rewards bad behavior. You don't reward your puppy for pi$$ing all over your rug, you punish him. Next time Mr. Executive will be flying over a PCH cliff to oblivion 300 ft below because his Mercedes didn't know how to stop for a cliff. I bet his last thought might be "Man, if I just crashed last time, this would have never happened."
          Jakub Janda
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ksrcm
          Yeah, I am with you, man. And when the puppy goes in front of a speeding car by mistake, you let it stay there instead of tugging the leash. To punish him, I get it. After you scrape the bleeding mess and still warm, shivering meat off of the asphalt, you can pat yourself on the shoulder, as a great, caring master you are. Seriously, these things are meant to save lives, because to err is human. Have you not made a mistake in your whole life? My friend did when he was driving and I still remember seeing the horizont roll to the side. The car was done for, we somehow survived and you can bet your bottom dollar my friend wished he had had a system like this above.
    • Load More Comments