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Mercedes F 015 - Luxury in Motion in detail: The future of the luxury sedan

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Mercedes F 015 - Luxury in Motion in detail
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D his car does everything differently, that's why Let's take a look first what elements are still there: four wheels? Definitely yes! Engine? In the broadest sense. Steering wheel? Hm, now it's going to be difficult. The Mercedes F 015 gives an outlook on how we will drive in 2030 - or rather, how we will be driven, because in the opinion of Mercedes the car will move autonomously until then. The steering wheel is reserved for emergencies and hugs the dashboard so as not to waste space.

Mercedes F 015 with fuel cell

Mercedes also had to be a fuel cell when it comes to drive be it already. The future mobile is supposed to generate the electricity for its 200 kW electric motors by converting the hydrogen stored in the sandwich floor together with oxygen from the air into electrical energy. Should, because there is just as little fuel cell in the demo car as the sensors necessary for autonomous driving. During our test drive at a former airport in San Francisco, the F 015 rolls blindly at a maximum of 45 km /h on a pre-programmed route, while the electric motor draws its juice from a battery.

The concept car is a rolling promise

With other test vehicles, the Mercedes developers have long since made progress with autonomous driving and fuel cells proven. Nevertheless, the Mercedes F 015 arouses expectations that can hardly be fulfilled in 15 years. The concept car is, so to speak, a rolling promise; after all, the 5.22-meter-long four-door model, which has a larger wheelbase than a Maybach S-Class, is bursting with creativity: if we actually travel fully autonomously in the future, the driver will be able to change his mind Dedicating things - such as communicating with fellow travelers, which is why the front seats can be turned 180 degrees.

If the topics of conversation run out, huge ultra-HD touchscreens with proximity sensors in the doors offer diversion. In addition to access to music directories or telephone address books, passengers have the option of playing natural landscapes. In this way, the slowest drive through the industrial area can be transformed into an exciting journey over the most beautiful routes in the world. Or you can see where your friends are hanging around by taking pictures from their car cameras into your ownVehicle can be transferred.

Mercedes F 015 communicates with its environment

What thoughts Mercedes is thinking about automated driving , shows the way in which the F 015 communicates with the environment: since no one is giving hand signals to pedestrians, the car takes over. LED strips in the radiator grille signal that the car is stopping, while a laser system projects messages in different colors onto the asphalt - a zebra crossing in green as an offer to cross the lane, or a stop sign in red to warn children about cars, approaching from behind at high speed. Everything is very convincing, now autonomous driving just has to come.

Nobody can currently estimate whether and when we will drive automatically in every situation. But what the next steps towards this goal are: After assistance systems have been supporting us for years, there are the first semi-autonomous systems such as the traffic jam assistant, which takes over the accelerator and steering in stop-and-go traffic. However, the driver must keep his hands on the steering wheel in order to be able to intervene at any time. The next step will be the motorway pilot, who will take over speed and lane guidance up to approx. 130 km /h and release the driver from the monitoring task for a few seconds. If something unforeseen happens, a warning signal sounds and the person takes over.

Step by step: the schedule for autonomous driving

Such systems are announced for 2018. Fully automated driving means that humans are no longer intended as a fall-back level. Fully autonomous driving on motorways can be expected from 2025 at the earliest, as all cars there drive in one direction, a central guardrail protects and no pedestrians appear. In parallel with the motorway, the degree of automation will increase in certain, more easily manageable situations (parking garage, company premises for trucks, etc.). Corresponding plans also exist for urban traffic, in which pedestrians and cars initially use separate traffic areas. The rapidly growing megacities of Asia are likely to play a pioneering role here, as they offer more urban planning freedom than European cities.

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