Mercedes officially showed off a concept version of what it believes would be a completely autonomous vehicle when it formally launches to the public. Just how soon that might be, remains a foggy mystery. However, a look inside the vehicle and a ride along in the Mercedes-Benz F 015 shows that this concept vehicle of the future feels much more futuristic than it actually reflects.
The interior feels massively updated, and it really does look like a car of the future. Touch screen panels on the sides that give riders the ability to jump between “driving” and “controlling” the vehicle – depending on what your definition of those words are. Mercedes believes that it will be on the market within five years, and that might be a realistic plan – since that technology inside the car is relatively tame – compared to what is inside our smartphones, computers, tablets, and well – every other piece of technology we surround ourselves with.
The F 015 is considered a luxury vehicle, to no surprise, but the interior looks and feels absolutely luxurious. However, more than anything else it feels like something out of a science-fiction movie. Touch screens on the side panels and doors give users the ability to see and feel anything they’d like to, no matter what is happening outside. Those very controls give users the ability to pass the authority to drive – as long as they have the permission of the driver.
Individuals sit in a “campfire” method where everyone faces each other and faces the middle, which will undoubtedly be appealing to those who are riding in these vehicles. Right now though, the autonomous features are not functional given the fact that the technology hasn’t been implemented yet. Mercedes put the features on display though by having the vehicle run a preprogrammed route, which ultimately showed just how capable a vehicle like this could be, under the right circumstances.
However, autonomous vehicles are still probably more futuristic than they are reality, because even if the technology is readily available – implementing, maintaining, and obtaining that technology in a vehicle is something that is significantly more expensive than the average consumer will be able to afford. Even for those who could afford these luxury style vehicles – questions remain regarding if the investment would be worthy – in the very early stages when technology will likely still be shaky.