Man Revisits Place of Near-Death Experience with Self-Driving Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Giancarlo Perlas June 1, 2018

Near-death experiences can be very traumatic. What more if you have driven off a cliff? That’s what exactly happened to Christopher White one unfortunate day while he was driving his Mercedes-Benz S-Class in 1988.

According to White’s recollection of the event and the ad from Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), he was driving tired during that time, which resulted him losing control of the vehicle while at Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town and dropping the equivalent of a 30-story building down to the rocks below.

White survived the impact because he was wearing his seatbelt and due to the amazing engineering of the S-Class he was in. Mercedes picked up the story to promote the safety of their cars in 1990.

Fast-forward at the present, White was approached by Mercedes to be at the driver’s seat of the self-driving S-Class. He seemed reluctant at first, especially after learning that he will have to let the car’s autonomous driving tech take control upon reaching the part of the cliff where he plummeted 30 years ago.

White appeared tense as he was visibly reliving the accident. Although shaken at first, he eventually allowed the self-driving system of the S-Class to take over. Amazingly, the car steered itself smoothly at the sharp bend of the cliff where he nearly lost his life.

That was surely brave for White—to be seating in the present version of the car that was a part of his accident three decades ago. It was impressive too that he fully-entrusted himself in a technology which is still under rigorous testing.

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