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Mercedes bends time and space

Autonomous F 015 concept gives passengers more time and space, says Mercedes


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7 Jan 2015

MERCEDES-BENZ has unveiled its vision of a purpose-built autonomous car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, saying the concept vehicle gives back increasingly precious commodities – time and space.

Dubbed the F 015 Luxury in Motion, the car is packed with technology that allows passengers to work, socialise and relax instead of controlling the vehicle, thus transforming the humble car into “a private retreating space”.

Its unconventional “lounge like” interior allows four occupants to face each other in a more natural and social environment, while six large screens form a “digital arena” for relaying information from the outside world to passengers while they travel.

In a keynote address at the Las Vegas show, Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche said autonomous vehicles such as the F 015 would ease the pressures of increasing city populations.

“The most important luxury goods of the 21st century are private space and time," he said.

“Autonomously driving cars by Mercedes-Benz shall offer exactly that. With the F 015 Luxury in Motion, this revolutionary concept of mobility becomes tangible for the first time."The vehicle's four seats rotate electrically, swinging out 30 degrees when the barn-type side doors open to allow easy entry and exit.

Other features such as wood flooring, fine leather upholstery and pinstripe lighting throughout the interior add to occupant comfort.

No powertrain details were released at the unveiling but the concept did have enough drive to complete a few kilometres before the official unveiling, showing off its head-turning exterior lighting amongst the bright lights of Las Vegas.

With most major car manufacturers developing self-driving technology, the race is on to produce the first production model.

Last month, information giant Google announced its first complete self-driving prototype.

At this year’s CES, Audi also revealed autonomous driving technology that allowed a specially equipped A7 sedan to travel 901km without human intervention.

Mercedes equipped an S-Class luxury sedan with autonomous technology for the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, but the F 015 is its first dedicated robotic model.

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