LAS VEGAS: German automaker Daimler exceled in the race of presenting self-driving cars, which earlier Google has announced to unveil. So step in Mercedes, who have unveiled a sleek and stylish vehicle that they say could be the future of autonomous cars.
Revealed in a presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the F015 concept boasts rotating pedestal seats, carriage style doors – and of course, self-driving capability. The car aims to provide a look at what the future of autonomous cars might look like when the roads are populated by ‘exclusive cocoons on wheels,’ said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz cars.
Mercedes said they wanted to focus on some of the other aspects aside from just the technology that drives it, though. And that led them to design a concept that might more resemble what self-driving cars of the future will look like. ‘Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society,’ said Mr Zetsche. ‘The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space.’
The luxury sedan, which seats four, measures 17ft (5.2 metres) in length and 5ft (1.5 metres) high. It is made of carbon-fibre, aluminium and high-strength steel. It’s designed to be able to use an electric motor and a hydrogen fuel cell. Using its hybrid system it can travel 685 miles (1,100 km) on a single charge. A single pane of glass covers the top of the car, extending from its long windshield to its sunroof.
The F015 has large 26-inch wheels which are placed right in the corner of the vehicle, to maximise the amount of space inside. Inside there are four pedestal seats, which rotate 30 degrees when the doors are opened and then move back to a straight position when the car moves.
There are also six high-resolution touch-screens on the doors, which passengers can use to control the car’s features or even see outside. They can be controlled using gestures, eye-tracking or touch.
While the car is self-driving, it can project lights on to the road using its LED headlights to let pedestrians know when to cross. The car can also switch to manual mode if you don’t want it to do all the driving, with the driver’s seat spinning to face forwards.
Mercedes haven’t announced when the F015 will be available yet, though, or how much it will cost. But perhaps this provides a better idea of what self-driving cars of the future might look like.