Like walking through a wardrobe into an alternate universe where lions can talk and evil ice-queens just can’t let it go, concept vehicles are the automotive industry’s magic doorway to the future.
Sometimes, these crazy concepts become part of our everyday life. For example, it wasn’t too long ago that the electric car was a concept so far-fetched and futuristic that we didn’t think it’d make it to the dealerships within the Baby Boomers lifetime. And yet, here we are, driving cars like the Lexus NX 300h and Toyota Prius.
Basically, concept cars are an excuse for adults to channel their inner-child and turn any idea into a reality; like a car that drives itself.
Enter the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion. A car from so far in the future, we can hardly imagine it – even with a stash of paper, crayons and craft glue. This car doesn’t need a driver… it’s driverless, and so futuristic it didn’t even appear in the Jetsons (those suckers had to actually steer their hovercrafts).
To make this possible, a number of cameras and sensors have been placed around the F 015, and GPS co-ordinates can be programmed into the vehicle.
The car runs on an electric hybrid system. We won’t go into it for a whole bunch of complicated, brain-fading reasons, but basically, it’s powered by two electric motors and a fuel cell which can drive a claimed 1100km.
Of course, you do have the option of driving it if you want, but the whole point of this car is it gives you more quality time to work or chill while stuck in traffic… But for now, Mercedes won’t be dropping the traditional human controls. Plus, no one likes to give up total control, especially to a machine.
In the luxurious cabin there are four seats and touchscreens on the doors that function as an infotainment system, GPS and phone. The rear windows also double as projector screens, so you can choose your scenery. Paris anyone?
To add to our ‘things-are-changing-too-fast’ panic, the F 015 isn’t even one-of-a-kind. General Motors have also released a self-driving concept Chevy, the otherworldly Chevrolet-FNR. We’re not sure if these driverless models are a peek into a scary or exciting future. Is this the beginning of the robot invasion? We hope not, but we’re still curious to see how this technology unfolds.
Watch this space!