German automaker Daimler showcased its vision of the driverless car, a prototype vehicle that allows four passengers to face each other as the vehicle finds its way. The prototype was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, last week.
“In the future, the car brings access to the single most important luxury goods of the 21st century: private space and quality time,” said Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche, as he unveiled the self-driving Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan F 015 at a keynote at the 2015 CES.
With the self-driving luxury sedan F 015 Luxury in Motion, Mercedes-Benz shows how the automobile is changing from a means of transportation to a private retreating space. Offering maximum space in a lounge-like interior, the F 015 elevates comfort and luxury to a new level. One key aspect of the research vehicle is the continuous exchange of information between vehicle, passengers, and the outside world.
The F 015 Luxury in Motion is the visionary answer of Mercedes-Benz to a rapidly changing world. By 2030, the number of mega-cities with more than 10 million inhabitants will increase from about 30 to over 40.
Progressing from the self-propelled (“automotive”) to the self-reliant (“autonomous”) vehicle, Mercedes-Benz as a pioneer goes far beyond the purely technical realization of automated driving. People are always at the center of such considerations. Just as the 1886 Benz Patent Motor Car and its successors revolutionized personal mobility and, as a consequence, society as a whole, the first self-driving cars will also bring about major changes.
The pivotal feature of the innovative interior concept is the variable seating system, with four rotating lounge chairs that allow a face-to-face seat configuration. All four passengers can use their time aboard to work, to relax or to communicate. In order to make getting in and out of the car easier, the electrically powered seats also swing outwards by 30 degrees as soon as the doors are opened.
One key aspect of the research vehicle is the continuous exchange of information between vehicle, passengers and the outside world. This is facilitated by six display screens harmoniously integrated into the instrument panel and the rear and side panels, which turn the interior of the F 015 Luxury in Motion into a digital arena. Passengers can interact intuitively with the connected vehicle through gestures, eye-tracking or by touching the high-resolution screens. Employing laser projection and LED displays, the electrically propelled F 015 Luxury in Motion establishes contact to the outside world and is a real social partner in traffic.
“Already two years ago, with the S 500 Intelligent Drive, we showed on the historical route Bertha-Benz took in 1888 that we have the technology which makes autonomous driving reality in everyday traffic. We have a master plan in place to take the big leap required getting from technically feasible to commercially viable. The F 015 Luxury in Motion demonstrates where this may take us,” Ztesche added.