Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy for Teens

The news that Mercedes-Benz wants to start a teen driving academy all of the sudden makes being 16 again sound appealing.

According to the company, the teen driving academy will use a combination of interactive classroom sessions, online learning and behind-the-wheel training. No date has been set for its opening except for a vague late 2011. It is the first and only auto manufacturer to offer a complete, state-certified driving school in the U.S.

Adam Paige, department manager for brand public relations at Mercedes-Benz told Torque News in an email, "Currently we are not disclosing the location. There is a location (one) -- it is standalone."

The Mercedes-Benz teen driving academy is intended for teens getting their driver's licenses and not as a supplementary driving education program. Mercedes said it will be partly modeled after a similar driving academy it operates in Great Britain, where students have a passing rate on the license exam almost twice the national average.

Mercedes-Benz says research shows the standard U.S. formula of 30-hour in-class education followed sequentially by 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training cannot transform a non-driver into a safe driver. Mercedes-Benz is combining insights and key elements of the U.K. curriculum and delivery methods with U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles requirements to develop the integrated program that is going to be offered at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the U.S. later this year.

No word yet on where the Academy is going to be located or if it's going to be a roving operation in various states.

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