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So is DrivePilot/P3 a total waste of money or even a public danger?

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So is DrivePilot/P3 a total waste of money or even a public danger?

 
Old 07-29-2016, 02:32 PM
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So is DrivePilot/P3 a total waste of money or even a public danger?

Based on the following reviews/tests of the DrivePilot system, it appears to be at best a complete waste of money and at worst a public danger:


http://www.thedrive.com/tech/4591/th...-tesla-model-s
Verdict:
Drive Pilot: The only good thing about Drive Pilot is that your Mercedes will protect you from it. Did I trust it? Only at a crawl. Did I understand it? I don’t understand how Mercedes-Benz could release this to the public. I hated literally everything about it. It drove like a drunk ten year old, fighting for the wheel with a drunk fourteen year old. It was, in most conditions, dangerous.

Driver Assist? Meet Driver Persist.
As intrusive as it is incompetent, Drive Pilot is a dead end as Level 2 AD, and a catastrophe as anything more. Is it safer? You’ll suffer through an upper body workout waiting to find out. I hated it so much, I didn’t want to use it. If you don’t use it, it can’t make you safer, ergo, it’s useless, and you’re only as safe as your skill, just like everyone else for the last 100+ years.

If you want The Best or Nothing, get an E-class without Drive Pilot, and take advantage of the myriad other safety systems Mercedes-Benz offers standard. Most of them are invisible until the moment of truth, when their expertise in ADAS will pay off.


http://www.autofil.no/936897/hands-off
Summary:
Unfortunately during our test drive there was little sign of an artificial intelligent chauffer to be seen. The E-Class is utterly dependent on clear parallel road markings and signs alike. In the eventual absence of one of the elements, the car required immediate input from the driver.

The same was experienced when the road became too twisty. The E-Class lost its track and wandered towards the side of the road, of worse still, towards the oncoming traffic, alarmingly without any sign of other safety systems interfering. Surprising, considering Mercedes have a reputation for being pioneers of automotive safety.

On stretches of road wider or narrower than standard, for example the fly on or off from a motorway, the system became unsetteled and required two helping hands. When the system did finally work, we were constantly reminded to take control of the steering.

The Mercedes system seems to be a bit like a child learning to ride a bike. The stabilizers are gone, it has the ability to ride itself, it just hasn’t yet developed the confidence. The results is a system that panics and without a helping hand, will eventually plant you in a ditch.

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Old 07-29-2016, 04:21 PM
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I concur with the majority of the negative observations mentioned in the 2 articles. Although my wife drives the car for the past few weeks since we got it, I drove it tried the AD feature each time I took the car out for a drive. Here are my personal opinions - YMMV. We'll take a road trip in a next few weeks and update the posting with our experience regarding the E300's Drive Pilot system under different road conditions.
1/ When the E300/Technology specialist went over the car with us at the dealer during the delivery process, he kept mentioning that we should brake the car in stop-and-go traffic rather than rely on the E300. He said the he didn't think we'd be comfortable relying on the car based on the experience he gained from MB's training. In actual use, the E300 follows slow traffic without any problem and allows me to relax in traffic congestion. However, the car brakes and accelerates in a very forceful manner at various times - as if I stomp on the pedals rather than the normal modulation most of us would apply to them. This startled my wife on many occasions. Granted, the E300's heavy handed actions could be influenced by the actual traffic condition surrounding the car at that moment. Thus, I must test this feature a bit more to arrive at a more conclusive opinion.
2/ The car has problem recognizing freeway entry and exit ramps. The lane departure warning lights up and the car attempts to either steer or brake with a shudder while it enters the ramp. This corrective action of an imaginary issue scared the heck out of us during the first few days. It still happens all the time.
3/ The Automatic Lane Keeping feature only works when the camera can clearly see 2 set of lane markers. Bad road surfaces, back lit lighting, poor lighting, and roadway that has only a single set of lane makers will render the system unreliable or unusable. Worse yet, the feature disengages and the car starts to drift without any advance warning!!! I almost collide with cars in the adjacent lane twice and avoided the bump by manually steering the car at the last seconds.
4/ The car insists that I touch the steering wheel every 30 to 60 seconds. This short interval is really annoying and defeats the purpose of the Drive Pilot feature. I feel like baby sitting my niece who just receives her driver-permit rather than having an advanced system assisting me with some of the more mundane tasks while driving with Distronic enabled.
5/ I haven't test the car on rural roads. But I don't think I have the confident to let the E300 do the driving on these roads.
6/ The Active Lane Change Assist works flawlessly.
I purchased the P303 package based on MB's advertisements. I read the fine prints, but they concentrate on generic disclaimers and the insistence that the driver is ultimately responsible for the driving. The fine print doesn't mention anything about the crippling limitations MB placed on the Distronic-Plus system, the poor performance of the Lane Keeping feature, and the Adaptive Cruise Control's abrupt braking/accelerating in slow traffic. Beside, the link below stated the following--"The FTC doesn’t allow for advertisers to use fine print to clarify false impressions that aren’t clarified in the content of the ad itself." At this moment, for the $11K price tag, this package doesn't deliver the functions and values MB implies in the ads. If I had been aware of the shortcomings, I'd trade the P03 for 4Matic and Air-Ride options.

It looks like the chorus of complaints has produced some effect
http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/we...nomous-system/
http://jalopnik.com/federal-trade-co...des-1784419463
https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/28/co...rive-pilot-ad/

With that said, we also have mixed feelings in regards of the rest of the car.
> Interior - We love the new interior, specially the elegance and simplicity of the center console.
> Seat - I'm 5'11" and in average shape. The seat seems to be tight at the shoulder area for me, regardless of the setting. The built-in cooling fan is a little weak comparing with other cars that I've used.
> Sound - Good NVH isolation. The Burmester sound system doesn't live up to the $850 upgrade. While the upper frequency balance is fine, the mid-bass is boomy and the sound-stage is vague.
> Suspension - Being the early adopter, we picked from what the dealer had on hand. The standard sport suspension feels fine. Being the sport model, we don't expect a plush drive out of this set up. The lowered E300 scrapes the speed bumps around our place - When combined with the Sport mode, the car offers better than expected driving composure.
> Performance - The turbo engine works just fine for daily driving - Just don't stand behind the car where it sounds raucous! Not very befitting for a luxury car for some. I don't mind about those things. The engine sound is muted inside the car. Besides, MB pipes in "Enhanced" engine sound via the sound system. There's a short delay between when I floor the gas pedal and when the power starts to build up. In sport mode, the gap is shorter but still there unless the engine is kept in the high rev range. On the other hand, the engine loves to spin right up to the red line and seems to be adequate for the E300.
> Other Issue - MB's GDI engine doesn't seem to be afflicted with carbon deposit issue as other brands.

Last edited by ADD0514; 07-29-2016 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:56 PM
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Interesting. I felt it worked exactly how i thought it would when I test drove it. I agree with just about everything on here but feel its worth the P2-P3 upgrade, which is what like 2-3K depending if you want HUD?

MB is the only company that has anything close to autonomous driving. You can't include Tesla as they're not a real car company and don't play by everyone else's rules.

Its definately not perfect, but definately better than any other car. Granted i've only spend about 15 minutes driving one, at one point i completely forgot i was driving when playing with the massage seats. It does wander around the lane at times and it did just completely shut of on a turn on me which was scary. Also i forgot the adaptive cruise control was on when exiting the freeway and when the car in front changed lanes it took off like a rocket trying to go 80 around a turn, but that was my fault. I was actually surprised how well it works and how easy it is to use, you just turn on the adaptive cruise and set you speed, then when you want you just take the hands off the wheel and put them back on when you want to drive again. I figured you'd have to hit a few buttons, change some settings and then you can take your hands off. It seems perfect to be able to send a quick text/email or eat and drive without worrying about crashing.

I plan on picking up a P3 (or Q3 whatever that is) very soon and driving to a dealer tomorrow that has a similar one i want.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:48 PM
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Has anyone had an issue with the car being hard to steer with drive pilot? the article makes it sound like its hard to turn when its engaged. I couldn't tell when it was engaged or not, seems I was able to just touch the wheel with my hand and it'd stay engaged but was easily able to steer regardless if its on or not.
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Old 07-29-2016, 11:31 PM
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It's not an issue. Its not meant to be an autopilot. It's meant to be a driving safety aid and it does that well. For instance when you are wanting to reply to a text while driving on the highway, you can now do that. It works well enough for a short burst of autonomous control. But don't expect it to navigate an exit ramp or city streets. For that you better have your full focus engaged.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:34 AM
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I think it depends on people's expectations. This is not an autonomous system. It is designed to relieve stress and fatigue from driving. So no, it will not know exit ramps, or necessarily merging. It is for the straight aways with minimal turning. It is great for traffic congestion and just inching along. The earlier you accept that, the better and less hazardous you will be on the road with the system.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by joshg1001 View Post
It is designed to relieve stress and fatigue from driving. So no, it will not know exit ramps, or necessarily merging. It is for the straight aways with minimal turning. It is great for traffic congestion and just inching along.
I agree that the system is meant for "assisting" at this stage. However, the car wanders even on a 4 lanes freeway with mild curves, straight single lane road with raised curb on one side and striping on the other side; The basic type of roads found in California. In congestion, the car follows the slow traffic flow nicely, until the traffic opens up. At that point, the car just charges ahead rather than picking up the pace in a moderate manner. It could be just my car, the particular environment at the time, or my own vehicle set up. But the mentioned article seems to describe my experience pretty closely.
MB describes the E class as " Arguably the most technogically (sic) advanced car on the road" today, and assured us that "Mercedes- Benz engineers put millions of miles and thousands of of tests behind them" at this webpage - https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/benz/innovation . If the words are true, these minor shortcomings should be anticipated and sorted out during the development process. I should not have to choose between turning of the active safety option or living with the incorrect assistance at the ramps.

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Old 07-30-2016, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by stealth.pilot View Post
But don't expect it to navigate an exit ramp or city streets. For that you better have your full focus engaged.
I don't expect the car to enter or exit the ramps on its own. The Adaptive Cruise Control was definitely not active and I was driving the car. The Active Lane Keeping Assist (ALKA) was on, however. Due to the curve of the ramps or the nearby vegetation, the ALKA constantly detected that I was veering over the lane or about to collide with something. The torque steer or some mild braking was applied to counter the perceived danger at that point. If I was not in complete control of the car, it'd veer off for real.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:40 AM
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I think while MB engineers were being cautious with the new technology, the marketing played up the hype a little more than they should.
This article - http://mashable.com/2016/06/16/2017-.../#ryFsX4P26OqH - perfectly describes the intended use for Drive Pilot and some of the technical challenges the system exhibited during the test.
On the other hand, MB's online marketing materials (since pulled) overplayed the system's capability that lead to our over expectations of Drive Pilot. Some of the hype still remains on the Internet - For example, Loeber Motors ( http://www.loebermotors.com/blog/wha...z-drive-pilot/ ) has this to say about the E Class' Drive Pilot: "The Next Step Towards Autonomous Driving - While the Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT does not make the vehicle completely autonomous, it comes pretty close" and "Steering Pilot will relieve the stress drivers face when they are stuck in traffic jams as it can automatically maneuver through traffic."
MB's press release ( https://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/Digital...ss_Release.pdf ) described Drive Pilot as "DRIVE PILOT: This system represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to autonomous driving. While on both freeways and country roads,Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically maintain the selected distance from the vehicle in front, but, for the first time, it can also follow the traffic in front at speeds of up to 130 mph. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature of Steering Pilot is that the system can continue to actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction, even at speeds up to 81 mph. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion."
In my case, Steering Pilot doesn't seem to work well in situation where the "lines are unclear or nonexistence", therefore I would not trust that this function can work correctly on "country roads."
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by stealth.pilot View Post
It's not an issue. Its not meant to be an autopilot. It's meant to be a driving safety aid and it does that well. For instance when you are wanting to reply to a text while driving on the highway, you can now do that. It works well enough for a short burst of autonomous control. But don't expect it to navigate an exit ramp or city streets. For that you better have your full focus engaged.
Really! There is a system that makes it safe to concentrate on texting rather than driving at highway speeds? Sounds like something my sixteen-year old needed right before I took her car away!
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:30 PM
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It seems to me Your making suggestion as if you extensively tested or have owned a Mercedes benz e300 2017 model. It is hard to digest these comments coming from a tesla owner and not a Mercedes benz owner. As-well your comparing a Tesla vs a Mercedes based on their semi autonomous driving systems. I think there is already a clear winner before the test started.The test just becomes how better the telsa is than the Mercedes rather than merits.

I think your observations are far fetched from it being a public safety issue.
Now to be 100% clear about autonomous vehicles, there are no cars on today's streets that are autonomous. Not even a tesla is full autonomous, its only semi autonomous. Yes, its the closet car to being full autonomous and has a over all better integrated driver assist system.

Premium 2 package cost around $7,650, and Premium 3 package cost around $11,250. the difference of the two cost are $3,600. I really want the HUD, 360 camera, distronic plus and speed limit pilot. All these features plus others are included in package 3 which makes it worth getting vs not getting. P3 does not only include driver assist features but other handy daily features that drives would use and would cost more money to add on individually.

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Old 07-30-2016, 10:57 PM
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Just picked up a p3 from a dealer 2hrs away so got plenty of freeway drive time to play with drive pilot. Overall it works great, better than I expected. Adaptive cruise control seems perfect from stop to 100mph+ simple and easy to use that all day I barely touched the brake and just turned on the cruise when in traffic. The steering wasn't perfect but kept in lane and worked well. I wouldn't trust not paying attention, but was easily able to eat a sandwich and drive handsfree. I was able to play with all the buttons and menus of the new car and learn all kinds of info, all when driving and not having to pay 100% attention. I'll take a few videos and upload to YouTube in a few days but overall I'm impressed and definately worth the upgrade.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:18 AM
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Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes any attention away from the task of driving a moving vehicle. In 2014, 3179 people were killed and 431,000 people were injured in accidents that involved distracted drivers.

The option as presently configured in the new E has been out for a nano-second and already we have two posters bragging about the vehicles ability to make you a more efficient distracted driver. This attitude from folks you would think had some intelligence to be able to afford the car. Obviously not a true theory!
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by JALLEN4 View Post
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes any attention away from the task of driving a moving vehicle. In 2014, 3179 people were killed and 431,000 people were injured in accidents that involved distracted drivers.

The option as presently configured in the new E has been out for a nano-second and already we have two posters bragging about the vehicles ability to make you a more efficient distracted driver. This attitude from folks you would think had some intelligence to be able to afford the car. Obviously not a true theory!
Distracted driving will never get better. Having a vehicle that can handle during distracted driving is the solution. People have always ate while driving which i feel is the most distracting form. This feature is designed especially for distracted driving, actually they have another feature that tells drivers if they're tired and recommends rest areas (coffee mug on screen).

My other vehicle is a Ducati Diavel which i spend 100% of the time being aware and alert. Unfortunately i'm unable to afford a driver to take me everywhere and be alert so this is the best solution.

If people cared about preventing distracted driving they could easily prevent phones from working when GPS is above a specified speed, remove all drive-thru's, disable radios and other buttons that aren't necessary. Just because a feature allows you to be safer while driving distracted doesn't change the way i drive, I would still text and drive and do everything else, this is just better.
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by justinm001 View Post
Distracted driving will never get better. Having a vehicle that can handle during distracted driving is the solution. People have always ate while driving which i feel is the most distracting form. This feature is designed especially for distracted driving, actually they have another feature that tells drivers if they're tired and recommends rest areas (coffee mug on screen).

My other vehicle is a Ducati Diavel which i spend 100% of the time being aware and alert. Unfortunately i'm unable to afford a driver to take me everywhere and be alert so this is the best solution.

If people cared about preventing distracted driving they could easily prevent phones from working when GPS is above a specified speed, remove all drive-thru's, disable radios and other buttons that aren't necessary. Just because a feature allows you to be safer while driving distracted doesn't change the way i drive, I would still text and drive and do everything else, this is just better.
It boggles my mind that an adult human being would admit to thinking it all right to text and drive. Even brain dead politicians in some states have passed laws about that!

Your so important that the world cannot be without your guidance while driving or your simply that backwards?
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Old 07-31-2016, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JALLEN4 View Post
It boggles my mind that an adult human being would admit to thinking it all right to text and drive. Even brain dead politicians in some states have passed laws about that!

Your so important that the world cannot be without your guidance while driving or your simply that backwards?
Oh my GOSH, there are worst crimes being committed to humanity than a man or women eating behind the wheel. Please stop lecturing people as if were your children.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mplayers2006 View Post
Oh my GOSH, there are worst crimes being committed to humanity than a man or women eating behind the wheel. Please stop lecturing people as if were your children.
It would be disingenuous to use eating as an example when I spoke directly to texting. If you want to defend texting while driving, perhaps you do need an adult to lecture you.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JALLEN4
It would be disingenuous to use eating as an example when I spoke directly to texting. If you want to defend texting while driving, perhaps you do need an adult to lecture you.
There is a big difference to texting and driving in a car under autonomous control and one without. Just as there is a big difference between people who obserquisly follow the rules and leaders.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JALLEN4 View Post
It boggles my mind that an adult human being would admit to thinking it all right to text and drive. Even brain dead politicians in some states have passed laws about that!

Your so important that the world cannot be without your guidance while driving or your simply that backwards?
Its not that I'm so important, its that being able to be in constant communication allows me to afford luxuries like this. This features allow me to be a distracted driver safer, it's not changing the fact that drivers are distracted to begin with, or making them more distracted.

This thread is to compare the autodrive functionality of vehicles not to debate if people should be allowed to drive distracted. Not sure what your main point is, we shouldn't buy an advanced feature because it assists people in driving distracted? Because if it's to tell people to not text and drive, good luck.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JALLEN4 View Post
It boggles my mind that an adult human being would admit to thinking it all right to text and drive. Even brain dead politicians in some states have passed laws about that!

Your so important that the world cannot be without your guidance while driving or your simply that backwards?
There is a problem in our cultural society today with texting while driving, walking, talking, hoverboarding, shopping, ordering, and etc... Its something that will never go away, its like rubber necking. Only technology will aid in our assist in using are phones while we do other stuff. semi-autonomous driving will lead the way for us to do more stuff were not suppose to do behind the wheel or when driving. I agree with lecturing your children, I just don't agree lecturing someone who you dont know about the same bad behaviors you most likely indulge in as well. There are a number of ways to become distracted behind the wheel. Some people get distracted by other fancy cars driving by, advertisement on the side of the road, rubber necking at wrecks, seeing who the police pulled over, looking for hiding police looking for speeders, looking at pretty women as you drive by(bad idea when your girl is in the car), becoming distracted by the radio and the kids behind you. I'm very sure one of the above has distracted you in the past knowingly or even unknowingly.

AT the end of the day, people are going to do what they want to do, not what there suppose to do. I rather someone text and drive (in small moderation) while in driver assist than texting and driving without.

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Old 08-01-2016, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by justinm001 View Post
Its not that I'm so important, its that being able to be in constant communication allows me to afford luxuries like this. This features allow me to be a distracted driver safer, it's not changing the fact that drivers are distracted to begin with, or making them more distracted.

This thread is to compare the autodrive functionality of vehicles not to debate if people should be allowed to drive distracted. Not sure what your main point is, we shouldn't buy an advanced feature because it assists people in driving distracted? Because if it's to tell people to not text and drive, good luck.
A part of the thread's title is "even a public danger". But, if I were supporting breaking the law in 46 states by texting while driving, I would not want it discussed either.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by justinm001 View Post
Its not that I'm so important, its that being able to be in constant communication allows me to afford luxuries like this. This features allow me to be a distracted driver safer, it's not changing the fact that drivers are distracted to begin with, or making them more distracted.

This thread is to compare the autodrive functionality of vehicles not to debate if people should be allowed to drive distracted. Not sure what your main point is, we shouldn't buy an advanced feature because it assists people in driving distracted? Because if it's to tell people to not text and drive, good luck.
What a crock!!! Texting manually should never be done. Period. The auto pilot is devised as a safety feature for unforced distractions not to indulge in them.
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:21 PM
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The OP's main question is whether Driving Pilot (DP) is "a waste of money or even a public danger." We should focus on the technical aspects of this feature rather than debating about personal preferences.
I drove for a few hundred miles yesterday with Drive Pilot enabled. Here are a few more PERSONAL observations.
1/ Bright day, darker road surfaces, clear lane striping: DP has no problem with automatically following the car in front or negotiating bends. If I have the gap in between vehicles at the shortest setting, the E300 brakes and accelerates more forcefully in stop-and-go traffics. At wider gap settings, the braking and accelerating become more tolerable.
2/ Bright day, light colored road surface, intact Bot Dots, worn lane striping: On this long stretch of freeway - where the surface is worn and gray, the Bots dots are clearly visible, and the lane striping doesn't stand out clearly from the road surface - the E300 moved like a drunk, often crossed over or moved very close to the adjacent lanes.
3/ Bright day, normal road surface, gentle incline, gentle bends, clear road marking: No issue with DP at 80mph to 90mph.
4/ Night time, normal road surface, gentle descent, gentle bends, clear road markings: The same road as #3, returning trip. The E300 danced all over the road! Unaware that I had the DP on, my wife complained about my driving and asked if I had one drink too many.
5/ If I used the turn signal consistently while entering or exiting the freeway, the E300 doesn't offer braking or steering assistance as often.
6/ During this trip, the E300 deals with construction barriers and center dividers much better than it used to.

Last edited by ADD0514; 08-01-2016 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:18 PM
  #24  
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soon to be E300
Over the past couple day's I've had great success on the freeway in all conditions, including rain, the system works much better when its following another car as it mocks its driving pattern.

On side roads it doesn't seem to be able to handle tighter curves and doesn't have enough power to make tight turns as it will go well over the center line. It will follow other vehicles in neighbor hoods without lines at all, even will go around parked cars and completely mock the vehicle its following.

The biggest issue i've noticed is it seems the radar only picks up 300ft in front of you. So if you're driving 55 and up the road there's a stopped car at the light, it'll go 55 until it hits 300ft away and slam on the brakes to stop. It definitely works but isn't at all convenient or safe. Also when it brakes its like a teenager braking and is a bit jerky and harder than if a normal driver were to brake manually.

Also if you're on a 55mph road and the car in front turns itll slow down and then take a good second or two before starting to speed up.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:31 PM
  #25  
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2018 Mercedes-AMG E63S
One of the things I have noticed consistently on forums for these mid level cars is that the have nots constantly criticize the features they didn't buy and those who have less limited budget almost always buy these features.

The commentary here has less to do with what DrivePilot does and more to do with whether you have it or have the budget for it. If it was free I am sure everyone would get it.
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