When it comes to advanced tech in new cars, everyone might think that Tesla makes the smartest cars of them all. However, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is clearly giving Tesla a run for its money with its new feature. Here’s a look at how the Mercedes-Benz S-Class’ Intelligent Park Pilot feature is going above and beyond Tesla’s ‘Smart Summon’ feature.
A recap of Mercedes-Benz’s new commercial
Recently, Mercedes-Benz released a new commercial about parking. As MotorTrend wrote, the commercial is about valet parkers, and how some of them may be up to no good.
When they get their hands on the keys to a car, the commercial shows the valets taking those cars out for a joyride. Mercedes-Benz is clearly making fun of valets, and the commercial isn’t meant to be taken too seriously since the valets are being over the top.
But of course, at the end, a brand-new S-Class drives past the valets. Rather than handing them her keys, the owner of the S-Class simply gets out of her car, taps a button on her phone, and her S-Class parks itself. The commercial ends with one of the valets saying, “No, no no. That’s sci-fi. That’s not real.”
But Mercedes-Benz assures its viewers and fans that this is real, and it’s called Intelligent Park Pilot.
What is Mercedes-Benz’s Intelligent Park Pilot?
When it comes to self-parking cars, it’s not as simple as its name implies. As MotorTrend said, there are in fact different types of self-parking technology, and they are categorized in the same way that self-driving cars are. There are six levels of self-driving technology, and most self-driving or self-parking technology on cars today are at level two.
However, like MotorTrend said, Mercedes-Benz’s Intelligent Park Pilot is actually on level four. This makes it a far more advanced feature than the stuff found on Teslas or Toyotas, since, at level four, the car does not need a driver at all to be present when it’s self-parking. And of course, this feature wouldn’t be complete if the car couldn’t drive itself to its owner, and that’s exactly what Intelligent Park Pilot can also do.
Obviously, when compared to Tesla’s Smart Summon, that summoning feature is almost the same. But, as MotorTrend said, there’s a big difference there too.
Since Intelligent Park Pilot is such a smart feature, it knows exactly where it is, and it also knows where its owner is, and as such, it’ll drive itself to its owner.
This feature is not actually active just yet, though
All that technical stuff aside, as MotorTrend wrote, this smart feature needs smart infrastructure, too. In order for Intelligent Park Pilot to work properly, the S-Class has to be “connected” to the place where the owner wants to park their car.
As such, the demonstration in the commercial where the owner uses Intelligent Park Pilot to park her S-Class in a car park is not actually possible for most people today.
Indeed, Mercedes-Benz said at the very end of the commercial that this feature, as smart as it is, “can not currently be used”. In order for Intelligent Park Pilot to be active, Mercedes-Benz said that there needs to be a new law to allow it to be used, and infrastructure, such as car parks, need to be equipped with the right technology.
So, until that happens, while the S-Class’ Intelligent Park Pilot feature almost definitely beats Tesla’s tech by a mile, no one can actually make good use of it. But when it is possible to use it, then S-Class owners might end up putting valets out of work.