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Distronic Hazard

 
Old 06-08-2018, 08:54 PM
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Distronic Hazard

I usually get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a stretch of interstate as I head home on Fridays. As usual, I keep my distronic on and usually keep it set at around 50mph or so and let the radar keep me moving along with the car in front of me, tapping the pedal to resume if coming to a complete stop. I had a big scare today though as the car in front of me that I was trailing decided to switch over to a lane to the right causing me to suddenly have a car-length gap in front of me. When the driver suddenly moved over, my car then surged forward very quickly to catch up to the next car in front of me but it HAD NO INTENTIONS OF STOPPING!!!! I had to slam on the brakes or else I would have creamed into the rear end of the next car in line. Why is it that the radar didn't detect the next car???? Things to consider: I had my distance setting at the most closest range (100 feet). Did having my cruise set at a high speed cause this? I also can't remember if the car I was about to hit was stopped or not. Despite that, shouldn't the car attempt to stop from hitting an object whether or not it is moving ? I've seen those Mercedes ads/videos where they push a stationary object out in front of an S class and the car detects it and stops. But perhaps an object that , according to the radar, is totally stationary it won't detect and stop for. Words of wisdom: Don't take your eyes off the road while using the distronic cruise in slow traffic.

Last edited by MBS63AMG; 06-08-2018 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MBS63AMG View Post
I usually get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a stretch of interstate as I head home on Fridays. As usual, I keep my distronic on and usually keep it set at around 50mph or so and let the radar keep me moving along with the car in front of me, tapping the pedal to resume if coming to a complete stop. I had a big scare today though as the car in front of me that I was trailing decided to switch over to a lane to the right causing me to suddenly have a car-length gap in front of me. When the driver suddenly moved over, my car then surged forward very quickly to catch up to the next car in front of me but it HAD NO INTENTIONS OF STOPPING!!!! I had to slam on the brakes or else I would have creamed into the rear end of the next car in line. Why is it that the radar didn't detect the next car???? Things to consider: I had my distance setting at the most closest range (100 feet). Did having my cruise set at a high speed cause this? I also can't remember if the car I was about to hit was stopped or not. Despite that, shouldn't the car attempt to stop from hitting an object whether or not it is moving ? I've seen those Mercedes ads/videos where they push a stationary object out in front of an S class and the car detects it and stops. But perhaps an object that , according to the radar, is totally stationary it won't detect and stop for. Words of wisdom: Don't take your eyes off the road while using the distronic cruise in slow traffic.
Had similar issue happen. It will NOT detect a stopped car ahead of you. However, within a fraction of a second of hitting a fixed object, the car will (at the very, and I mean very last moment) go into full on braking, Mercedes received poor ratings for emergency braking and did hit object in front of it. Moving objects are treated differently. My issue was a car stopped way ahead at a red light, 40mph and no slowing down.... You have to pay attention at ALL times when using these features.
Don't know if you have ever tried this, instead of tapping the gas to go again after a stop with D+, just pull back on the stalk, I find this much easier and a smoother pull away after a complete stop.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:59 AM
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The distronic is still following the car that changed lanes. Whenever someone pulls out from in front of me I just disengage then renegage the distronic and it searches for and finds the new car in front of me or else you get that sudden acceleration towards the slow/stopped car in front of you. The program is far from perfect and does require a very small amount of input to run smoothly.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:17 PM
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This speeding up and seeming like it's going to crash into something in the now more open lane has happened many times in my travels. I use the distronic even in medium speed traffic so lots of opportunities for this. If your cruise is set for say 70 and you get into slow traffic then encounter this situation it tries to get back to 70 quick. It's scared me and got a comment or 2 from the wife. Like "what are you doing!" "Didn't you see he's stopped" If you totally rely on this it will try to kill you. (At least by heart attack or your wife will shoot you)
Tesla's auto pilot lets the driver not hold the wheel and thus this kind of anomaly has caused several serious accidents where it accelerates into a barrier or the back of a stopped fire truck or stopped police cruiser etc.
What saves MB drivers is you MUST pay attention in 15 sec intervals.
IMHO here is the problem. The computer/program is so busy and focused on the change view of what the sensors are seeing that it is processing that and the difference in car speed vs set speed and compensating for that (by speeding up) and has not "got around" to seeing and calculating any new objects in the new lane and the closing speed.
More dedicated faster computers needed!
ANY 2018 driver comments?
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JayinToronto View Post
The distronic is still following the car that changed lanes. Whenever someone pulls out from in front of me I just disengage then renegage the distronic and it searches for and finds the new car in front of me or else you get that sudden acceleration towards the slow/stopped car in front of you. The program is far from perfect and does require a very small amount of input to run smoothly.
That’s pretty much the way I do it as well, constantly monitoring what’s going on in front of me and switching Distronic on and off as needed. On the 2018; the stalk is gone and the Distronic controls are on the steering wheel. It’s taken a bit of getting used to, but I’m now liking it better than the stalk. I think Tesla chose very poorly, naming their system, “Auto Pilot,” which, to me, suggests that one can set it and forget it, when nothing could be further from the truth. All of these systems are aids to assist the driver, they are not fully functional, A.I. drivers. Continuing along that line of thought, I hope we never see driverless vehicles—at least not on the same roads we drivers are driving on.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:35 PM
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Seems like it would be better to just disable it... Isn't it more of a headache to babysit it and worry about it doing something stupid than to drive yourself? Also, you may not always be able to save yourself.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
Seems like it would be better to just disable it... Isn't it more of a headache to babysit it and worry about it doing something stupid than to drive yourself? Also, you may not always be able to save yourself.
First of all, you need to switch the system on to use it, so there is no need to “disable” it. As far as having to “babysit” the Distronic, that would only be true if you call watching the road in front of you babysitting. Distronic is like having another pair of eyes on the road and, IMHO, is “THE” all time greatest option ever offered on any passenger car by any manufacturer. I feel it is absolutely marvelous and, in my case, essential, as I will not own a car that I am going to drive any distance without it. It certainly is not a perfect system—as there are no perfect drivers either. But they keep improving it and using it, with an average, competent driver behind the wheel makes for a MUCH safer driving experience.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:02 PM
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I agree with Mr. Streamliner here 100%.

And yes, this Distronic behaviour is known and you have to pay attention to what’s happening in front of you. I found slower traffic more dangerous than fluid city/highway driving in terms of concentration.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:02 PM
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It's not "eyes"; it actually does things that may get you into serious trouble. How do you save yourself if it steers you into a concrete barrier at highway speeds (as happened recently on a Tesla) or some such thing? There may not be enough time to react and stop or perform an evasive maneuver to avoid collision.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
It's not "eyes"; it actually does things that may get you into serious trouble. How do you save yourself if it steers you into a concrete barrier at highway speeds (as happened recently on a Tesla) or some such thing? There may not be enough time to react and stop or perform an evasive maneuver to avoid collision.
You’ve obviously never used it. It does not steer that way. It makes very small corrections to keep you between the lanes. And, we are not even talking about this aspect of The Driver Assist option, we are talking about the radar controlled cruise control. Please drive a MBZ with Distronic Plus and then let’s have a chat intelligently regarding its pros and cons.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Streamliner View Post


First of all, you need to switch the system on to use it, so there is no need to “disable” it. As far as having to “babysit” the Distronic, that would only be true if you call watching the road in front of you babysitting. Distronic is like having another pair of eyes on the road and, IMHO, is “THE” all time greatest option ever offered on any passenger car by any manufacturer. I feel it is absolutely marvelous and, in my case, essential, as I will not own a car that I am going to drive any distance without it. It certainly is not a perfect system—as there are no perfect drivers either. But they keep improving it and using it, with an average, competent driver behind the wheel makes for a MUCH safer driving experience.
I feel exactly the same way, especially in LA traffic.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Socalsteve View Post
You’ve obviously never used it. It does not steer that way. It makes very small corrections to keep you between the lanes. And, we are not even talking about this aspect of The Driver Assist option, we are talking about the radar controlled cruise control. Please drive a MBZ with Distronic Plus and then let’s have a chat intelligently regarding its pros and cons.
I'll take your word for it since apparently you studied very diligently the software and found out that it won't steer you toward an obstacle, and you are also an expert on the sensors and their failure modes.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
I'll take your word for it since apparently you studied very diligently the software and found out that it won't steer you toward an obstacle, and you are also an expert on the sensors and their failure modes.
Dont take my word for it. Buy a W222 and drive it many 1000’s of miles. Then report back. I actually own one and use the Driver Assist features pretty much every time I get behind the wheel.

Ummm, and btw...the Autopilot feature on the Tesla takes autonomous driving much farther than the MBZ does. Have you ever heard a news story of a MBZ crashing because the Driver Assist features didn’t work properly?
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Streamliner View Post


That’s pretty much the way I do it as well, constantly monitoring what’s going on in front of me and switching Distronic on and off as needed. On the 2018; the stalk is gone and the Distronic controls are on the steering wheel. It’s taken a bit of getting used to, but I’m now liking it better than the stalk. I think Tesla chose very poorly, naming their system, “Auto Pilot,” which, to me, suggests that one can set it and forget it, when nothing could be further from the truth. All of these systems are aids to assist the driver, they are not fully functional, A.I. drivers. Continuing along that line of thought, I hope we never see driverless vehicles—at least not on the same roads we drivers are driving on.
I thought I read that the 2018 S Class Distronic+ will even work with a stopped car ahead of it. Isn't that true? Additionally, it will work without hands on the wheel for about a minute or so instead of 12-15 seconds prior to the refresh model. And if you are stopped for less than about 60 seconds, the car will accelerate to the set speed or accelerate to the speed the traffic ahead is moving. Please correct me if I am mistaken, Streamliner.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Streamliner View Post


That’s pretty much the way I do it as well, constantly monitoring what’s going on in front of me and switching Distronic on and off as needed. On the 2018; the stalk is gone and the Distronic controls are on the steering wheel. It’s taken a bit of getting used to, but I’m now liking it better than the stalk. I think Tesla chose very poorly, naming their system, “Auto Pilot,” which, to me, suggests that one can set it and forget it, when nothing could be further from the truth. All of these systems are aids to assist the driver, they are not fully functional, A.I. drivers. Continuing along that line of thought, I hope we never see driverless vehicles—at least not on the same roads we drivers are driving on.
When I test drove the 2018 S560 two days ago, I was trying to play around with setting the cruise. On previous models that go way back on Mercedes vehicles, you don't have to turn on the "system" , then set the cruise. Has that now been changed? It appears there is a "system" on/off button and then a set /decel switch. I have always loved the fact that I don't have to do 2 separate moves to set a cruise speed but has the newer models been changed to where you have to turn on the system and then set a speed??? And on the subject of autonomous cars, the only way that will ever work is that EVERY car on the road would have to be autonomous and talk to each other via their computer systems. Trucks included. But then you would have to be worried about a hacker getting into your car , finding out where you're going, who you are, etc, etc.... If every car was auton. then cars would be going down the highway very close together (tailgating), traveling at 90 mph as if they were hooked like train cars in the left lanes to make good time, then slower vehicles in the right lanes to exit. I think the energy of inventing little private Jetson saucers would be more attractive than autonomous cars.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BeanTrader View Post
I thought I read that the 2018 S Class Distronic+ will even work with a stopped car ahead of it. Isn't that true? Additionally, it will work without hands on the wheel for about a minute or so instead of 12-15 seconds prior to the refresh model. And if you are stopped for less than about 60 seconds, the car will accelerate to the set speed or accelerate to the speed the traffic ahead is moving. Please correct me if I am mistaken, Streamliner.
Yes, you are correct on all points.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:37 PM
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Audi Stop n Go Adaptive Much better...

My previous vehicle (2013 Audi A7), had the stop n go adaptive that was worthy of the title. I could exit and NOT touch the brake pedal and it would slow down at a normal pace and come to a complete stop. It would then resume moving at preset gap. Whereas, the MB adaptive is not so intuitive. I do not trust it in true stop n go situations. It has habit of surging at rather high speed until it "sees" vehicle ahead. Great car overall. I'd give Audi the Blue Ribbon for a true stop n go adaptive that doesn't cause surging, jerky and unpredictable behavior. You do have to monitor the MBenz adaptive.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:57 PM
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For me personally, I'll take my chances on driving it myself. I'm not comfortable at all relying on technology nannies running my car. To me, it's not safer using all this stuff, it's less safe since for me and my ADD, it all just drives me crazy. The corrections, the beeps, the noises, ... forget it. I would never use this stuff ever again other than to show it off to my friends now and then for a minute or so.

I really like driving my car like I have my whole life before this technology was introduced. I don't consider it less safe than relying on all this crazy new technology to "avoid accidents".

No.... it's just not going to work for me. Give me "old school" regular driving any day without all the crazy distractions of making sure the technology built into my car to save me isn't going to kill me or cause an accident.

Just ... sayin.
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Streamliner View Post


Yes, you are correct on all points.
That's awesome to know that it does all this, Streamliner.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:23 AM
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I have a 2015 S550 4MATIC and use the D+ frequently. Overall I am very pleased with the feature. One thing that annoys me is that the car often indicates that my hands are not on the steering wheel. They are. This usually happens when the highway is straight. Do you get the warning? Is there anyway to prevent it? I cannot imagine driving the car using D+ in NV or TX and getting the warning light all the time. Of course, if I slightly move the steering wheel the warning goes away.

Thanks,
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DHCMB View Post
I have a 2015 S550 4MATIC and use the D+ frequently. Overall I am very pleased with the feature. One thing that annoys me is that the car often indicates that my hands are not on the steering wheel. They are. This usually happens when the highway is straight. Do you get the warning? Is there anyway to prevent it? I cannot imagine driving the car using D+ in NV or TX and getting the warning light all the time. Of course, if I slightly move the steering wheel the warning goes away.

Thanks,
I get this warning quite a bit. Complained to dealer several times and several dealers as well. Everything is OK. You have to move the steering wheel or have a weighted hand on one side that the system senses and corrects. That's why tying a full pop can to one side of the steering wheel fakes out the warning sensors. Sort of hard to park with it on I think. And hardly elegant

Do 2018 drivers have this issue?
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:53 PM
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I no longer have an S Class--but I did have another Mercedes with Dist+. I was driving on a 4 lane highway that was undergoing adding more lanes etc and there was a diversion of lanes with multiple lane paintings. The system became confused and tried to steer me into a big tanker truck beside me. We were moving along 40-50 mph. I had to manually override the system quickly to avoid a serious collision.
Lesson. Pay attention to lane markings. I have no idea what would have happened if this had been night rather than daylight.
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:56 PM
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I'll still give Audi better marks on distronic functionality than the MB Dist +.

Both Audi and MB had better keep an eye on Cadillacs Super Cruise. It's much more advanced, no annoying take control warnings nor the usual ping ponging found on both Audi and MB. Their tech will find it's way to Audi and MB. If Cadillac produced a better looking vehicle with an interior to match, I'd give them a try. Mary Barra of GM has to get this Brand to once again be the Standard of the World. New leaders in NY is great, but their huge DRL's are getting tired and the CTS is hard to distinguish from a CT6
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:11 PM
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All these systems have the same fatal flaw even the might Tesla

https://jalopnik.com/this-test-shows...pen-1826810902
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by jenz View Post
All these systems have the same fatal flaw even the might Tesla

https://jalopnik.com/this-test-shows...pen-1826810902
I don’t look at the shortcomings of these systems as “flaws,” but rather as features of how the systems work and as ever evolving technology. Distronic is meant as an “AID” to the driver, not as a SUBSTITUTE for the driver. If drivers keep that in mind, and actually DRIVE the car accordingly, they will all be fine. If they watch a movie and rely on these systems to drive the car, they are idiots and should not be behind the wheel of any vehicle.
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