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Tokyo Show: New ‘Vision’ from Mercedes

Just chilling: The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo’s interior is designed to mimic a club lounge, and can seat up to five people in driverless comfort.

Mercedes unveils latest autonomous hybrid concept, the five-seater Vision Tokyo

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Mercedes-Benz logo28 Oct 2015

By TIM ROBSON

MERCEDES-BENZ has taken inspiration for its latest autonomous hybrid concept from the city in which it has first displayed it.

Known as the Vision Tokyo, the five-seater mid-sized people-mover eschews traditional row seating, opting instead for a club lounge arrangement in the main cabin, no rows and no traditional driver’s seat.

The Vision Tokyo follows the Vision Ener-G-Force that was displayed at the Los Angeles motor show in 2012, the gaming-inspired AMG Vision Gran Turismo that turned up in LA a year later and the G-Code shown in Beijing in 2014.

Taking on a much more traditional physical form than the other vehicles in the series, the Vision Tokyo – at 4803mm long, 2100mm wide and 1600mm high – mimics the appearance of a mid-sized people-mover, albeit one with 26-inch wheels, a gullwing door on the left side and speedboat-inspired windscreen glass.

The Vision Tokyo is, according to Mercedes-Benz, aimed directly at Generation Z, which it defines as people born after 1995. As a result, the concept is comprehensively equipped with LED screens behind both passenger lounges, which can display images, media and text from passengers’ smartphones and tablets.

As well, a hologram projector in the centre of the Vision Tokyo allows users to access apps by swiping 3D cubes hovering in the air.

Mercedes says the Tokyo concept also includes self-styled functions like Deep Machine Learning and Predictive Engine technology, allowing the vehicle to ‘learn’ the habits and preferences of its occupants over time.

Autonomous driving is facilitated via a roof-mounted 360-degree camera array in the rooftop aerial, and should manual control of the car be required, a driver’s ‘jump seat’ can pop out of one of the lounges, while a steering wheel will also emerge from behind a panel on the dash.

Sporting the same fuel-cell/plug-in electric hybrid system as the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept, the Vision Tokyo’s electric engines are supposedly housed behind the wheel centres.

The electric hybrid system has, according to Mercedes-Benz, a total range of 980 kilometres, of which some 190km come courtesy of battery-powered driving and around 790km on electricity produced via the fuel cell.

While no hydrogen tanks are present in this concept, Mercedes indicated that they would be built from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic in any production version.

“The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo embodies the concept of an automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities,” said Daimler AG head of design Gorden Wagener.

“The purity and sensuality of the Vision Tokyo’s styling defines a new interpretation of modern luxury from Mercedes-Benz.”

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