Later, Westwood Driving school? Mercedes’ new driving school is basically the coolest thing on the planet. We saw our friend Jill Eisenstadt-Chayet who reps Mercedes Benz at this year’s Luxury Review (a whole other truffle) and she dropped this bomb on us that Mercedes just opened a driver’s ed program on 3rd Street next to Toast.
3rd Street is about to see a major infusion from Harvard-Westlake, Brentwood, Buckley, Beverly, Crossroads and other area schools. MBDA is making the rounds to both L.A. private and public schools to introduce their programs — if you don’t see them soon, it’s because someone in your school’s admin dept didn’t get it. Not to worry though because Mercedes is currently offering promotional free sessions to introduce their new school to the area — the next two are on Saturday this weekend.
Free parent-teen sessions:
Saturday, Dec 3rd – 10:00-11:30 A.M.
Saturday, Dec 3rd – 2:00-3:30 P.M.
Saturday, Dec 10th – 10:00-11:30 A.M.
Saturday, Dec 10th – 2:00-3:30 P.M.
Saturday, Dec 17th – 10:00-11:30 A.M.
Saturday, Dec 17th – 2:00-3:30 P.M.
Workshops are held at 8231 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90048.
#TruffleNote: MBDA is the only driving school with access to an LAPD training facility (“EVOC Training Center”) for training sessions — pretty cool.
There are basically two programs — one to get your permit and one to get both your permit and license … one is the fully integrated program which takes students from permit through license via the DMV’s GDL guidelines (18 hours behind the wheel 30 hours of theory and safety workshops). On the road programs are for those with permits – sold in packages of 10 hour blocks of behind the wheel time… after an assessment with either program Mercedes will customize the program to meet the drivers level and needs …
We did a little price-comparison and found both programs to be a little more to twice as much as other schools but the way we see it – you’re are spending half this already to be miserable and bored and learn sub-par techniques with a random driver in a random room full of people — so why not pay a little more for something pretty uh-mazing. The alternative area driver’s ed schools seriously drop in aesthetic and quality so it’s like paying 20% – 50% more to get 1000% more. MBDA is like the iPhone of driving schools — simply superior.
#TruffleNote: Most parents and kids spend the cost of the courses on extracurricular lessons so cancel tennis or piano for the year and make driving your after school activity. You can’t put a value on safety; and now that Mercedes is here, you don’t have to.
Mercedes driving teachers (I mean, coaches as they liked to be called) are well dressed in Mercedes uniforms, and hold classes in gorgeous air conditioned rooms with glass front walls overlooking the 3rd Street’s shopping and dining district. More important –please note they teach things like ‘how to maintain your vehicle’, ‘canyon driving’, ‘collision avoidance’ and ‘distracted driving’ — reminding me of the defensive driving I tried to learn from watching The Unit or tips I picked up from my friends who race on tracks. They engage students to think like a driver and make smart road decisions.
#TruffleNote: Training cars are C class sedans and ML hybrids
**You must go to the actual DMV to take the tests to get your permit and license — we are told Mercedes is looking for ways to facilitate this process in the future.
Post permit program (10 hours) – Price: $790
- 10 hours of behind-the-wheel coaching (optional night, freeway and canyon driving).
- Home pick up and drop off.
Pre permit and post permit (30 hours of class + 18 hours of on-road) - Price: $1,390
- Mercedes uses a DMV-Approved Student License for driving lessons with a certified Driving Coach. Also offers online modules. At the completion of the online course, the teen will take their written test to get their learner’s permit. California’s DMV requires 30 hours of driver’s education. This course fulfills the requirements of the DMV to get your permit and license.
Post-Learner’s Permit (6-month learner period)
- 18 hours behind-the-wheel training - Supervised practice with a parent or guardian – parents sit in on a behind-the-wheel lesson with their teen. This lesson is designed to increase the parental understanding of our teaching methods which can be reinforced during their supervised driving practice. Additional Behind-the-wheel sessions include night time driving, distracted driving and a final assessment.
- Off-Road - 3 hour safety workshop + 5 Interactive Classroom sessions + Online classes
- Optional extra course on how to maintain their vehicles, theory on vehicle collision avoidance systems, high-risk driving situations.
- Behind-the-wheel final assessment - evaluates the teen’s readiness for their driver’s license.
- Home pick up and drop off.
**MBDA also offers IMPACT Parent Teen Driving Workshops at schools and at their new corporate office in LA.
The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy
8231 W. 3 rd Street in Los Angeles, CA
- RAISES THE BAR FOR DRIVING EDUCATION
- THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ LOS ANGELES FACILITY IS FIRST TEEN DRIVER EDUCATION AND TRAINING CENTER BUILT WITH STUDENTS AND PARENTS IN MIND
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of death amongst adolescents ages 15-20 is a car crash. National averages show that teens are most likely to have a significant crash in their first year of driving, four-times higher than an adult or experienced driver.
The new methodologies and approach for the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is based on findings of the highly acclaimed Hermes research group, including European traffic safety organizations and institutions, confirming the most effective methods for both teaching and learning. Coaching, a learner-centered method, will lead students out of the passive consuming of safety information into the role of actively producing safe driving results by making better decisions on the road.
Proven successful at the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the U.K., the California Academy program is a customized curriculum involving a highly interactive, participatory system of key tactical classroom components in conjunction with appropriate on-road scenarios. With this system, maneuverability and decision-making processes are developed for Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy students through role-playing, case studies, dilemma games, witness accounts, brainstorming and coaches’ questions. Today, many schools are set on traditional teaching to the test or promoting rote memorization.
For the past year, Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy has been working with California Parent Teacher Association and partnered with IMPACT Teen Drivers, giving a grant to provide important safety workshops at over 20 Los Angeles area schools.
The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy will offer a variety of programs for teens and new drivers at various stages of their learning process, taking full advantage of the Graduated Driver Licensing framework in California with a heavy focus on the importance of parental involvement, which leads to practice and positive reinforcement for success.
“We chose the location for the first U.S. Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy to meet the needs of our students and their families – and that includes accessibility to many neighborhoods, close proximity to several major highways and shopping destinations for parent convenience,” Duchene said.
Mercedes-Benz plans to announce additional Driving Academy locations in the future and is engaged in active, ongoing recruitment for driving coaches.