CES 2015: Mercedes-Benz Unveils Ridiculous Self-Driving Car Concept
With Google unveiling the prototype of its self-driving concept car last month, other companies have set it upon themselves to design similar vehicles as Google’s car might give them a run for their money. So this CES, Mercedes-Benz decided to roll out its “F 015 Luxury in Motion” concept, which is a bold and insane design of a vehicular future where our presence behind the wheel will become optional.
The car baffles us in numerous ways — from the outside, it looks like a sleek bar of soap, and from the inside, goes all conference room-atic. So we find solace in the fact that this is just the initial concept of the car, just a design, and hope that the luxury car maker realizes this as well.
What gives us more grips is that considering Mercedes’ current state of autonomous technology, converting this design into reality is at least 20 years down the road. While these cars may seem around the corner, but for a company with no past experience and planning in this field, there is a huge responsibility of using and applying relevant technology to catering to the safety and legal requirements.
Then there is the whole evolving process of making consumers adapt to the idea of giving up the steering wheel. These problems just don’t take five years, it is a whole game play of psychology, technology, and legalities in the long run.
Given the gorgeously designed cars Mercedes is celebrated around the world for, it is hard to digest that this design of a slithering piece of soap has been put forward at such an influential platform.
However, we applaud the car as it shows Mercedes is planning for the future and realizing the need to delve into more intelligent vehicles as every device becomes more independent. It will be a seismic shift, and automakers will then be free to pursue exciting and ground-breaking ideas.
The interior of the F 015 has front seats which can be rotated to face the rear. Daimler boss Dr. Dieter Zetsche said it is something very new, but also very old, pointing to the days of horse-drawn carriages. The car is controlled through hand gestures, eye-tracking, and touchscreens. When the car senses a pedestrian ahead, it can even project a crosswalk onto the ground.
“The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space,” Zetsche says.
The German automaker already has its hands full with a highway pilot system for its trucks and is planning to introduce some level of autonomous tech in its sedans by 2020.