Reality Crashes

Gary S. Vasilash

Here are a couple of pictures of what you don’t want to see in your driveway in the event that you’ve managed to buy a brand-new Mercedes C-Class or a Mercedes M-Class:

2013 Mercedes-Benz C-Class NHTSA 5-Star Crash Test

2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class NHTSA 5-Star Crash Test

Well, maybe you do want to see that, because both of those vehicles have achieved five-star ratings in both the latest U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and the European NCAP, so presumably if they were less robust, you might see a pile of scrap metal, not something that resembles a vehicle.

On the subject of safety, Professor Rodolfo Schoeneburg, head of Mercedes-Benz safety development, said, “For decades, Mercedes-Benz has taken a comprehensive approach to safety that reflects what actually happens in real-world accidents. The challenge is to depict reality in our crash lab. To do so, we use some 40 different crash test scenarios. A significant number of these are based on our own accident research and our unique to our brand. The C- and M-Class have each passed more than 200 high-speed in-house crash tests and more than 5,000 numerical crash test simulations.”

While there is something to be said for doing the digital crashes (and presumably the results of many of those simulations are used to optimize the vehicle structures for the real thing), there is something more to be said for still hitting walls, poles, and various and sundry objects in the physical world because we still live in, well, reality.