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Mercedes Benz: Driven to Distraction

April 30, 2018

I know, I know writing about Automobiles is not my forte. That honor belongs to my good friend and colleague Arvind. But allow me to steal your thunder just this once my friend. I will admit freely I am not the one who drools over glossy auto magazines and swears by horsepower and engine capacity. Although I am a mechanical engineering graduate, the romance of the greasy palms and engine music, was lost on me as soon as I left college. Now my heart beats for bits and bytes. And it is browsing through the murky dark alleys of tech forums that I stumbled upon this commercial.

Mercedes Benz and "magical software" are not the two words you would use in the same sentence and that too coming out of the Google's Social Czar Vic Gundotra's mouth. For the uninitiated, Vic Gundotra is the Senior Vice President, Engineering for Google. So when a guy of his credentials talks about "magical software" from a car company, it had my undivided attention.

I did a little research (read Google). I found out the story behind it. Vic Gundotra actually was in the said situation and apparently Mercedes did save his life (sort of) by automatically stopping. He wrote a letter thanking the powers that be at Mercedes Benz who had developed the technology. Mercedes lapped up the opportunity to get him on board to feature in the commercial and give an honest account of what he had experienced.

Crisply edited and brilliantly told, Vic's account is surely captivating from the word go. You know why, because it is the truth. He had experienced it first hand, fear, anxiety, shock, guilt, all wrapped inside his pounding heart. No wonder he keeps using the word "magical software" to describe the technology that saved his life. Kudos to Mercedes for developing such a life saving technology, I am not aware of other car makers have also included this technology in their cars. But I do hope they implement this at the earliest.

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