Easy Hack Makes Mercedes S-Class an Autonomous Car [Video]
There are all sorts of “life hacks” posted online, but this one has found a simple way to transform a complicated 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class into an even more complicated autonomous vehicle. Using just a can of juice and some electrical tape, this video shows that the safety features built into the sedan’s Distronic Plus with Steering Assist can be defeated.
Introduced on the S-Class and also available on the E-Class, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist is essentially a beefed up cruise control system that controls the car’s acceleration, braking and even steering to keep the car flowing with traffic and maintaining its intended lane when driving on the interstate.
To prevent drivers from taking a snooze, though, Mercedes requires the driver to maintain a grip on the steering wheel for the system to remain active. If the driver’s hand is not detected after a short period of time, the system shuts off.
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PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
And that’s where this simple – yet ill-advised – hack comes into play. From the looks of it, the can taped to the steering wheel seems to trick the system into thinking that the driver is holding onto the steering wheel; essentially turning the car into a fully autonomous vehicle in highway driving. Like the video description says, don’t try this at home, but it does help further prove that the technologies behind autonomous cars are already on the road today.
Not only that, but if cars are eventually going to be able to drive themselves, the idea of an autonomous Mercedes S-Class sounds far more enjoyable than riding in the goofy-looking Google Self-Driving Car Prototype.
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