A Mercedes-Benz magazine ad described a new sedan as a "self-driving car from a very self-driven company." On television, the Daimler AG luxury brand showed a future autonomous concept car with passengers facing one another before cutting to a current vehicle with limited automatic steering. "Is the world truly ready for a vehicle that can drive itself?" asked the television commercial's narrator, adding the future had arrived, ready or not, with a "concept car that's already a reality." But there was a problem: The E-Class sedan both ads portrayed isn't a self-driving car. Rather it features technologies, such as Drive Pilot, that can initiate a lane change by activating the turn signal, and Active Brake Assist, which warns of an imminent collision and automatically brakes if the driver fails to act. Mercedes-Benz pulled the television ad in late July 2016 in part to "avoid any potential confusion," a company spokeswoman said. The move came soon after consumer advocates wrote the head of the Federal Trade Commission complaining the commercial incorrectly portrayed a fully driverless car. Mercedes-Benz had already removed the "self-driving car" reference from the separate print ad after the May fatal crash of a Tesla Motors Inc. electric car driving itself. Auto makers developing automated-driving features are confronting concerns they are giving short shrift to the technologies' limitations and leaving customers with a false sense of security. After the Tesla crash, lawmakers, safety advocates and others have begun homing in on how car companies describe their autonomous-driving systems.
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