by Mike Masnick

Mercedes Crashing Demo Was Faked... But Not To Crash

from the so-they-say dept

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when we had that story about the demonstration of Mercedes' new radar braking system that failed, causing a 3-car pileup? At the time, Mercedes blamed the steel warehouse they were in. However, it appears there's a bit more to the story. C. Bronte writes in to point out a followup story where it's revealed that Mercedes is now claiming they knew ahead of time it wouldn't work, and had told the TV reporters exactly that -- but the reporters still wanted to film it in that environment. So, they had planned to fake the entire thing, using drivers who would hit the brakes at the appropriate time. The problem was that, due to the smoke machine, the drivers couldn't see the cars in front of them. They tried to use a block of wood on the ground to mark where the drivers should stop, but (Mercedes claims...) the suspension on the car made it so the drivers didn't notice running over the wood, leading to the pileup. So, it was still an accident, but not so much due to a technology failure (that was expected), but due to human error. Who knows how true this is, or how much is simply Mercedes trying to spin the story in a more positive manner, but apparently the journalist who set this up has been fired.

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  • identicon
    Sissy Pants, 28 Nov 2005 @ 10:30am


    That has to be another load of doo dee! If Mercedes knew it wouldn't work, then why would they agree to film it anyways? Then, try to trick the journalists?

    That sounds like hogwash... Oh, wait! I guess the VP from Sony works for Mercedes now and has decided that most people don't know what a wreck is...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    theStorminMormon, 28 Nov 2005 @ 10:32am


    the journalist who set this up has been fired

    That last line is unclear to me. If you're working for Mercedes, you're not really a journalist. Did you mean publicist, perhaps?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 28 Nov 2005 @ 11:27am

      Re: journalist?

      No, the journalists pushed to have the fake demo go on. Mercedes said they shouldn't because it wouldn't work, and the journalist said it was fine, they'd fake it, so that the TV show could get good visuals. So, according to the article, it was the journalist who talked Mercedes into letting this go forward.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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