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Mercedes-Benz kills controversial 'self driving' ad campaign

by Justin King
Mercedes-Benz kills controversial 'self driving' ad campaign

Consumer Reports claimed the ad could mislead buyers into believing the new E-Class is an autonomous car.

Mercedes-Benz has pulled an E-Class advertisement that attracted criticism from Consumer Reports.

The magazine's safety activism division asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the ad, which promoted the company's self-driving technology. The group argued that the ad could "mislead a reasonable consumer" into believing the new E-Class is "a self-driving car when it is not."

"Is the world truly ready for a vehicle that can drive itself?" the narrator asks as the video showed footage of Mercedes-Benz' futuristic Luxury in Motion concept. As the screen switches to imagery of the new E-Class, the voiceover states "ready or not, the future is here."

"Given the claim that consumers could confuse the autonomous driving capability of the F015 concept car with the driver assistance systems of our new E-Class in our ad 'The Future,' Mercedes-Benz USA has decided to take this ad out of the E-Class campaign rotation," the company said in a statement posted by Reuters.

The new E-Class offers a range of advancements that are said to "serve as the building blocks" for increasing levels of autonomy.