Automotive

Mercedes-Benz unveils autonomous social commuting concept for "Generation Z"

Mercedes-Benz unveils autonomo...
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a vision of social commuting
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a vision of social commuting
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: QR code license plate
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: QR code license plate
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: rear window
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: rear window
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: illuminated footboard
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: illuminated footboard
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: glowing blue accents are a signature of Mercedes' autonomous concepts for 2015
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: glowing blue accents are a signature of Mercedes' autonomous concepts for 2015
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: rear 3/4 view
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: rear 3/4 view
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a hit at the Tokyo Motor Show
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a hit at the Tokyo Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: animated grille
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: animated grille
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: silver tint on passenger windows
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: silver tint on passenger windows
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: glowing blue hubs provide a visual accent
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: glowing blue hubs provide a visual accent
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: slim indicators
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: slim indicators
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: side view
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: side view
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: real left view
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: real left view
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: rear right view
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: rear right view
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: unmistakably futuristic
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: unmistakably futuristic
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: large glowing rims accentuate the car's youthful appeal
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: large glowing rims accentuate the car's youthful appeal
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a vision of social commuting
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a vision of social commuting
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: the entire rear window surround is the brake light
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: the entire rear window surround is the brake light
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: side view
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: side view
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: Tron-like glowing accents
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: Tron-like glowing accents
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: front "driver's" window is there because it's possible to take over manual control
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: front "driver's" window is there because it's possible to take over manual control
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: sleek, yet bulbous front profile
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: sleek, yet bulbous front profile
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: animated accents on the front grille draw attention
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: animated accents on the front grille draw attention
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: unique rear profile
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: unique rear profile
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: 3D hologram display gives social form to your smartphone apps
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: 3D hologram display gives social form to your smartphone apps
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: floating data display and GPS map
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: floating data display and GPS map
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: upwards sliding door gives access to the booth-like, sideways-facing social interior
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: upwards sliding door gives access to the booth-like, sideways-facing social interior
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: like nothing on the road
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: like nothing on the road
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: silvered-over windows make this look like a futuristic lowered panel van
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: silvered-over windows make this look like a futuristic lowered panel van
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a small steering wheel and controls pop out if a driver wishes to take the helm
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: a small steering wheel and controls pop out if a driver wishes to take the helm
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: the focus is on social interaction for passengers, with the seats all angled toward a central screen and hologram display
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: the focus is on social interaction for passengers, with the seats all angled toward a central screen and hologram display
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: driver's seat and controls fold out if required
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: driver's seat and controls fold out if required
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: upwards sliding cabin door allows easy access
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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: upwards sliding cabin door allows easy access

Mercedes-Benz is clearly putting its resources toward a self-driving future. After showing the bizarre F 015 at CES earlier this year, it’s now pulled the covers off another autonomous concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Targeted at "Generation Z," the Vision Tokyo is a youthful and funky take on social commuting, a kind of high-tech karaoke booth on wheels with some very out-there features that give an insight into what the company feels personal transport will be like in the next couple of decades.

Similar in exterior design to the F 015, Vision Tokyo is sleek, rounded and very, very silver, with futuristic blue neon highlights evoking Tron’s glowing motorcycles. The entire rear window surround doubles as a massive brake light, and the windscreens and front grille seem to be able to display a range of funky patterns for when you’re cruisin’ the local cruisin’ strip.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Like the F 015, it’s an autonomous vehicle, but this time it’s aimed at youngsters, with oversized rims and a slightly more sporty look. Well, as sporty as you can get with this kind of odd, bulbous minivan-meets-hatchback body shape.

The interior is clearly designed as a social space – the side door slides upward to give you access to a large, comfy looking booth. Since driving is not the focus here, the dash is minimal and tucked away behind the foremost passenger’s back. The windows are partially silvered over, giving privacy and isolation from the (presumably horrific) Tokyo traffic outside, and the passengers’ focus is directed towards a large screen on the sliding door.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: floating data display and GPS map
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: floating data display and GPS map

In the middle of the floor, there’s a holographic display that seems to connect to the passengers’ smartphones, or whatever kind of device we’re carrying around in a decade’s time. It displays a bunch of floating icons that the passengers can physically interact with. The whole thing feels very cosy and social, not unlike a private booth at a bar.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: driver's seat and controls fold out if required
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: driver's seat and controls fold out if required

The Vision Tokyo isn’t completely autonomous, there’s still the ability for a human driver to take over. A backrest folds out of the frontmost seat, and a steering wheel with minimal controls pulls out of the dash.

In practical terms, it’s an electric car with a 190 km battery range and a further 790 km out of a hydrogen fuel cell. And as a far-future concept it’s never going to be built, but it’s another example of how different automakers expect the self-driving world to be once we’ve fully relinquished the steering wheel.

Source: Daimler

3 comments
RodneyRyanRogers
Dear car manufacturers: Quit showing off awesome looking cars if you're not going to sell it to the consumers. Sincerely, Consumers who love cool looking cars
DavidB
Also, please just let yourselves go all the way: create a car that's entirely grill—no solid body parts at all. Surely that's the logical end of the current trend in styling. I'm guessing that this car is known, in-house, as the Basking Shark. http://i.ytimg.com/vi/aX6xEjOMxys/maxresdefault.jpg
Stephen N Russell
Id drive this, nice, produce for the US, EU alone.