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New self-driving Mercedes Benz was sent from the future
Car companies have been given a top-billing at CES 2015 so some big announcements were expected, but few would have predicted the F 015 from Mercedes-Benz – a vision of the future that looks like something straight out of Tron.
If Mercedes’ luxury new sedan looks like a car from another time, that’s probably because it is – the technology itself is unlikely to be road-ready until at least 2030. What the F 015 does do, though, is show just where the automotive industry is heading. Oh, and just like Google’s self-driving car, it’s heading there all by itself.
Mercedes’ F 015 is much more than a self-driving car, it’s a vehicle which completely re-imagines the idea of personal transport. Once you get past the cartoonishly slick, silver exterior, inside you’ll find the seats turned inward like the passenger carriage of a train. Mercedes doesn’t just want you to keep your hands off the wheel, it seems, it wants you to ignore the road altogether as your chauffeured around in ultimate luxury. Even if you’re tempted to check the rear-view mirror out of habit, you can’t, because there isn’t one. There are no side mirrors or pedals, either.
The technology inside Mercedes’ future car doesn’t end there – everything inside and outside the vehicle can be controlled by hand gestures and touchscreen. The F 015 also helps to make the road safer for pedestrians, projecting a crossing point onto the ground when it’s safe for those around to walk in front. There are also large LED lights at the front and rear which, as well as looking cool, communicate with any other robo-cars that happen to be in front or behind you.
Frustratingly, there’s still some way to go before these concepts become a reality. As well fine-tuning the technology so it’s safe for use, there’s also the legal regulations that would need to change before you can set off without a steering wheel.
According to Dieter Zietsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars, the company has been working on it self-driving vehicles for 30 years, and if the fruits of that labor looks anything like the F 015 then the future is very exciting. See the Mercedes-Benz website for more information, and keep following GoExplore for all the latest news from CES 2015.