Another handbook of the same genre - “Engineer Hyperboloid Garin” by Alexei Tolstoy shocked the imagination with the evil power of a mysterious beam. Could I even think for a second that just a couple of decades later, the world will discuss the ethical side of cloning, and that the laser beam will not only be a destructive weapon in the hands of the military, but also take root in teacher's directions?
These thoughts came when I was driving an S-Class Mercedes - now the previous generation. No, the car itself was of little interest to me. The active Distronic Plus cruise control installed on it is the reason for the impatience with which I waited for the go-ahead of Dr. Volker Schmid, one of the system’s developers. "Set the cruise control speed and just release the brake pedal" - I obey, and the S-class starts moving smoothly. At the same time, the second test participant, the black Gelendavagen, starts in front of us. “Remember, do not touch the gas and the brake, no matter what happens!” - the engineer commands, and I, having difficulty overcoming the developed habit, literally stretch my legs.
Our sedan is gradually catching up with the Gelendavagen, but what is it ?! Suddenly the off-road vehicle lit the brake lights and braked rather sharply. In the next instant, the S-class, “nodding”, froze in front of the car in front. “Miracles!” I barely had time to think, and then the “jeep” started off, and behind it, driven by the “Distronic”, our car rushed.
The imitation of the stop & go urban mode was not the only test. Mr. Schmid demonstrated the brake function using “Break Essist plus”: the machine tracked the distance to the obstacle using the radar and increased the braking efficiency if the driver did not press the pedal. Unfortunately, this time they were not allowed to drive, they had to be content with the passenger seat. I clearly felt how the belts are tightened just before the stop - this is only one of the safety measures that the electronics will activate if the danger of a collision is great. The computer also gives the order to close the side windows, move the seats away from the front panel and raise the backrest.