Intelligent transportation systems are designed to protect human life. But what if cars have a soul and could influence the course of history? MCP is a provocative film project that raises these questions but Mercedes remains unconvinced. (Length: 01:19)

MCP from dath – Tobias Haase on Vimeo

The one-minute short film is not a promotional video but the latest work of director Tobias Haase and students at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. It was their final year project, which was presented after the completion to the Stuttgart-based car constructors. Failing at the presentation, Haase released the film on Vimeo, with distinct indications that they are not affiliated with any official Mercedes advertising.

The paint is polished, the edges are crisp set perfectly… The noble car is driving smoothly on the muddiest lanes through the fog-covered pampas of Upper Austria. The grey and brownish tones stand out against the car’s shiny aesthetics. A life of tranquility of the villagers is shown with a boy playing happily with his kite. The brand new Mercedes does not seem in the wrong place, but rather just completely fallen out of time.

‘Mercedes is not convinced that this is a good ad for them,’ says director Haase.

The reason being perhaps that the ending comes as a bitterly ironic surprise as the car runs over the boy. The boy’s name was Adolf. Left lingering on the screen at the end of the video is a sign for the Braunau am Inn. Ultimately, Haase presents three questions: What if intelligent driver-assistance systems had been developed much earlier? Would they work even better than we thought? And what if cars have a soul?

This provocative ad has caused ambivalent reactions, from awesome to tasteless. Mercedes officials found this scenario possibly too tricky due to the fact that Daimler Benz was part of the defense industry during the Nazi rule. Military vehicles, tanks, ships and aircraft engines were produced at that time – but no trace of avoidance technology. Other viewers interject simply because the ad has based itself around the death of a child.

The discussion will continue… Tell us what you think!

source: Vimeo
Tobias Haas