Mercedes-Benz USA to open first teen driving academy in California

By KBB.com Editors on May 3, 2011 11:59 AM

This October, Mercedes-Benz USA will launch its first driver's education program in Los Angeles, California. Specifically oriented towards teen-age students, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will offer a comprehensive regimen of classroom, online and behind-the-wheel training that will comply with all California DMV requirements and be fully integrated with the state's Graduated Driver licensing program.

Based on the same principles it used to create a successful Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the UK in 2009, the U.S. version also seeks to extend well beyond simply teaching new drivers mere basic car control skills and traffic rules. It will incorporate everything from digital animation to help students visualize potential real-world road hazards to active hands-on experience in reacting to emergency situations, all presented in a strongly interactive context between the students and their instructors.

Carolyn Duchene, Director for the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, sees  the school's combination of advanced teaching methodologies and exceptionally qualified instructors -- who themselves will be M-B USA employees -- as a distinct advantage over other similar driver training operations. "The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will connect with students and parents using a personalized, customer-centric approach that truly creates a unique offering among driver's education services for new teen drivers."

"Despite the dramatic changes in vehicles, highways, and the driving environment over the past 60 years, driver education remains relatively unchanged in the U.S.," said Alexander Hobbach, Senior Manager, Daimler AG. "The skills required to simply get a license (currently 30 hours of classroom training and six hours of driving time) do not fully prepare young drivers to meet the demands of the road. Mercedes-Benz recognizes this issue and as a result is creating an educational program for the U.S. that is based on the best teaching methods and tools available. With only 10 percent of crashes being a result of technical failure and 90 percent due to human error, Mercedes-Benz sees an opportunity to actively improve drivers' skills, focusing first on novice drivers, who are most at risk on U.S. roads."

For more information on the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy visit: http://us.mbdrivingacademy.com/.

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