Mercedes-Benz's latest concept car
is a driverless "living space"

| 18 comments

CES 2015: German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its vision for the future of motoring with an autonomous pod-like vehicle designed to function as a communal living room on wheels (+ slideshow).

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

"Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society," explained head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche. "The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space."



F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

Unveiled today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the concept design for the F 015 Luxury in Motion features a large interior space, finished in walnut, glass, leather and aluminium, along with four individual lounge chairs that swivel outwards to greet passengers on entry.

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

Once inside, the chairs swivel round so that the passengers are facing each other. Six screens – controlled with eye-tracking and gesture recognition – are integrated throughout the interior, offering connectivity and entertainment.

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

"Drivers are relieved of work and stress in situations in which driving is not enjoyable," said head of group research and Mecedes-Benz cars development Thomas Weber. "The time gained while in their car takes on a whole new quality."

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

Selecting a manual mode would prompt a steering wheel to emerge from the dashboard, while the driver and passenger seats turn automatically to face the direction of travel.

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

Large LED light modules on the front and back of the car show which mode it's operating in, with white lights indicating manual driving and a blue hue for when it's in autonomous mode.

Mercedes-Benz-F-015-Luxury-b_dezeen_468_0

Created with carbon fibre reinforced plastic, aluminium and steel, its exterior would weigh around 40 per cent less than today's production cars of a similar size.

Mercedes-Benz-F-015-Luxury-b_dezeen_468_1

Despite being lighter, the company said the structure would not be weakened due to the combination of strengthened materials and external beltlines positioned below its windows that would inflate in the case of a side-on collision.

Mercedes-Benz-F-015-Luxury-b_dezeen_468_2

As part of the research conducted for the F 015 Luxury in Motion, Mercedes-Benz also developed a forward-looking scenario called "City of the Future 2030+".

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

The future of urban infrastructure design – as envisioned by Mercedes-Benz – will consist of special "safety zones", much like today's low-emission zones in city centres, that are only open to autonomous vehicles.

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

Urban space could also be reclaimed as a result of autonomous vehicles parking themselves outside of a city's central areas.

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

"In the shared space of the future, humans and machines share the roads," said Mercedes-Benz in a statement. "The 'car-friendly city' is transformed increasingly into the 'people-friendly city' without any loss of individual freedom".

"The divide between residential, recreational and traffic areas therefore melts away."

F015 Luxury car by Mercedes-Benz

Other autonomous vehicle designs recently featured on Dezeen include a concept by Global design consultancy IDEO in which workplaces would commute to workers and Tesla's self-parking car that could soon pick you up from anywhere by itself.

  • nsp234

    Good luck driving manually with that A-Pillar…

  • CarterT

    Something this cool shouldn’t need wheels, it should just hover.

  • CriticalThinker

    This concept car looks like the worst output from Detroit minds in the 1970s. Good work Mercedes!

  • goAWAYgirl

    Disappointed that the design so heavily relies upon being born out of the leisure vans of the 1970s – swivel seats… I know we peeps don’t like radical change, but it would be great to see a concept design based on user research. And why would we not want to have the option to stand up in our living environment?

  • leo

    Driverless cars will comply with speed limits, so streamlining a vehicle to the detriment of the interior space will become a thing of the past. This car isn’t being honest in its intent. It’s just a marketing exercise for Mercedes.

    • Anders

      Good point, I have the same problem with the design of many electric cars where they just put a second booth where the engine used to be. Although, aerodynamics are not only about going fast but also energy efficiency.

  • mik

    Well now here is another activity gone passive. Will ALL of life in the ‘future’ be lived in front of some video screen?

  • O[b]ama

    If you have visited Ground Zero in Manhattan recently, you have seen the enormous “World Transportation Center” banner. Ground Zero is the epicentre of America’s new, ever-expanding, universal, self-driving-car infrastructure.

  • Jon Sealey

    This is a cool design. Not sure about the screens on the doors and also the sun roof should be bigger. Design from the inside out I think. Very cool though.

  • John Snow

    More time for work! Yeah!

  • jlasoul

    It should have a steering wheel at both ends, because I can barely tell the front from the back.

  • Concerned Citizen

    As long as it’s a living space on wheels, why not add a toilet and a shower?

    • SimbadCA

      We have too many people living in their cars already. Your idea certainly would apply to the truckers though. The truckers will kept their job, we’ll just have fewer fatal accidents.

  • SimbadCA

    This should give me another 45-minutes each day to practice my guitar!

  • Cam

    I’m pretty sure it will be a long time before driverless cars are numerous enough, tried and tested enough that standard safety regulations for passenger vehicles will be loosened enough to allow for this sort of design.

  • Chris

    About time…

  • Behzad

    What’s the point of buying an expensive luxury car and not driving and enjoying it? And by luxury car, I mean a “luxury Car”, not that genital ulcer in the pictures above!