When you go to the Consumer Electronics Show, you except to see hi-tech gadgets and new smart TV’s, but this year the Mercedes Benz F 015, Luxury in Motion was showcased and literally ‘stole the show.’
Mercedes Benz has unveiled a more luxurious, ambitious, yet less likely to become a reality soon- vision for the future of motoring. The car is essentially an autonomous pod with an incredibly spacious interior. Sitting in your car, the company wants you to be as comfortable as you would be sitting on your living room sofa. Mercedes believes that as autonomous cars become the norm, their interiors will begin look more and more like our living spaces. The four-seat F 015 Luxury in Motion features a low-slung front end, smooth roof line and a flat front widescreen, giving the car a sleek, futuristic appearance. This is definitely a huge step up from your standard family car with swiveling seats that allow the front and back passengers to face one another, touch screens running along the front and side panels while having gesture and eye-tracking to boot.
Now to discuss what makes this car autonomous, the car has some amazing technology on its exterior. It has enormous LED fields located at the front and rear of the vehicle to communicate to others which driving mode is active, blue when autonomous and white when manual. Mercedes has engineered a way for the car to drop passengers off before parking itself, and it knows its location to the millimetre thanks to Mercedes’ ‘Extended Sense’ technology, which monitors the car’s surroundings.
The car can even detect pedestrians waiting to cross the road. It checks its’ surrounding to make sure it’s safe for the pedestrian to cross. The company just hopes it will understand when it’s in the right of way otherwise driving through urban areas will be quite slow. The car is also environmentally conscious with its F-Cell plug-in hybrid system. It can travel 1,100 km (684 miles) on a single charge.
‘Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society,’ says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler AG. ‘The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space.’ There’s no word on when such a car could actually come to fruition, but if the designs are any indication, it can’t come fast enough.