So Mercedes has identified autonomous driving as an area in which it wants to take leadership in the car industry, promising on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show to bring such a car to production this decade.

It’s a bold claim, given the obstacles still to be overcome and outlined in our Mercedes Intelligent drive story, but you can see the logic for a premium brand car maker in offering cutting edge technology ahead of everyone else. After all, the Mercedes S-class has long been regarded as a technical showpiece – and this is just an extension of that.

Should we worry as car enthusiasts that someone wants to take the joy of driving from us? I think not, simply because Mercedes folk are talking about this being a high-end option rather than a de rigeur fitment. And let’s be honest, the high-end cars where such technology is likely to arrive are not exactly known as cars to be driven anyway.