Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will open in Los Angeles in October 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 28, 2011

Mercedes-Benz revealed further details about the Driving Academy for American teens that it first announced last month. This Driving Academy, which is intended to make the brand more popular and to teach teens the proper way to operate a car, will open first in Los Angeles this October. The Academy will offer the modern style of teaching, with online, classroom and behind-the-wheel training. Carolyn Duchene will head the local branch of the Academy.

She has been with Daimler for a long time and she has been involved in numerous Mercedes projects in training and education. What Mercedes-Benz has prepared for its Los Angeles branch is one of the most comprehensive training programs currently available.

Mercedes said that this program will be California-focused and will include on-road only curriculum, digital animations, problem-solving exercises and in-car coaching based on questioning.

Duchene said that aside from its unique educational approach, the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy considers its highly qualified staff to be a key differentiator. Duchene said that it is getting only the “the best talent” for its operations.

The California Academy program offers a customized curriculum that combines on-road training with both classroom and on-line components. The curriculum also boasts of utilizing a participatory and interactive teaching method. Using this approach, students at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy (MBDA) are able to develop decision-making skills and manoeuvrability aptitude by reading on case studies, studying witness accounts, playing dilemma games, role-playing, answering questions from the coaches, and brainstorming.

That this method is a success has already been proven at its academy in U.K. This is unlike what some schools today continue to practice which is to use traditional teaching and then test skills based on repetition or memorization.

Over the last year, MBDA has entered into a collaboration with the California State PTA and started a partnership with IMPACT Teen Drivers as the brand continues to be a member of a growing movement that puts high premium when it comes to driver education. One of the actions done by the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy was to release a grant that would enable safety workshops to be conducted in more than 20 schools around the Los Angeles area.

Academy Director Carolyn Duchene shared that the academy is spearheading the way in order to change and even update driver education. This is because, she added, there is a need to adapt to the various changes that have occurred in the driving environment over the last sixty years. These changes include new technologies, traffic situation, amount of distraction, road conditions, and even various externalities like the number of driver, Director Duchene continued.

It is important then to make sure that teenagers remain safe and more importantly, be responsible drivers, she further said. MBDA is expected to offer different programs not just for teens, but for new drivers as well. These programs will be delivered at different stages of the learning course and will take full advantage of California’s framework in Graduated Driver Licensing. It will also be placing importance on the need for parents to be involved and hopefully this will lead to positive reinforcement and practice and ultimately success.

Currently at the final stages of construction, the training center and the operations of MBDA will be positioned in a manner that it is easily accessible when coming from within the Los Angeles Metro and is near some of the premier shopping centers.

According to Director Duchene, since this is the first MBDA in the U.S., the main consideration in choosing the location was that it would meet the demands of the students and their respective families. As such, she added, it should be convenient for the parents, meaning it is accessible to a number of neighbourhoods, near shopping centers, and in close proximity to the different major highways.

Mercedes-Benz reveals that it will be announcing locations for its Driving Academy in the future. It will also be engaging fully in recruiting driving instructors. To get more information regarding enrolment and employment opportunities, simply visit their website.

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