Mercedes is using the F 015 Luxury in Motion to get us to leave our luxurious living room’s couch and just enjoy the luxury of being driven around in the F 015 Luxury in Motion. Nice compelling idea. But can they just do something about the name? It’s just not luxurious to have to pronounce all that in one go.
First announced at the Consumer Elecrtonics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last January, the Mercedes Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion is a concept car, that looked truly futuristic. Aside the fact the interior was designed too look like an expensive living room, with seats to resemble a rich man’s love nest, the car is completely autonomous. But the feeling then was that, with the F 015 luxury in Motion, Mercedes was just playing with ideas. Implying we were not going to see the car anytime soon.
In comments made by the CEO of Daimler (owners of the Mercedes Benz) Dieter Zeus at the ongoing 2015 Frankfurt Motor show, seeing the car might actually become a reality soon. ‘This is a concrete development of ours… ‘ he said. Concrete is the apt word to use seeing that they recently showcased the semi-autonomous 2016 Mercedes Benz E class.
The F 015 Luxury in Motion looks like a pod, all smooth and curvy devoid of any sharp angles to give it that all round alien look popular in sci-fi movies. To make it completely autonomous, integrated on the exterior of the body is some hi-tech that would make your head spin. There are very large LED sensors at the front and back of the vehicle constantly communicating with each other. And what is the nature of this communication? Well, everything that needs to be passed on to ensure the safety of the car, occupants, other cars, and pedestrians.
For instance, those driving behind the F 015 Luxury in motion would notice the LED telling them to slow down with a flashing LED sign if they are too close to the car or coming in too fast. Similarly they might see a STOP sign flashing from the LED if the car determines that stopping is in the best interest of everyone.
Pedestrians are well taken care of too. The car is able to detect pedestrians standing by the side of the road waiting to cross. At this point, the car stops, scans the immediate vicinity to make sure it is safe for the pedestrian to go ahead. Once the all-safe is determined, a laser at the front of the car projects a virtual zebra crossing on the road. Then the car prompts the pedestrian to go ahead and cross the road. An automated audio prompt instructing them to, ‘Please go ahead.’ So very helpful this car.
The hope is that the F 015 Luxury in Motion is smart enough to know that a car doesn’t always have to stop for pedestrians to cross the road. Or else it would be a harrowing experience for other car users in a busy city if the car has to stop constantly for pedestrians about to cross the road.
In the new world of green technology, you’d expect a futuristic car like the F 015 Luxury in Motion to be fully compliant right? The car uses the hybrid electric car technology. It has an on-board F-Cell plug-in battery first used by Mercedes in the F 125 experimental vehicle fours years ago. On a single charge, the car can travel a distance of over 1000km. In practical terms, that implies the car can drive from Lagos to Abuja on a single full charge, with enough remaining charge to do some commuting in the City before recharging the battery. Very impressive.