Mercedes-Benz Provides Glimpse Of The Future: F015 Autonomous Concept Breaks Cover at CES


The future is here and it looks like an egg.

Last week, Mercedes previewed a silhouette of its autonomous concept. And today that egg-shaped concept is here. The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept has debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Claiming that it takes "the concept of comfort and luxury to a new level," this four-seater, emissions free hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid features a low-slung front end, smooth and streamlined roof line, flat front windshield and (Mercedes’ words) a "road-hugging rear end."

Constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), and aluminum and high-strength steels, engineers were able to lower the bodyshell’s weight by 40 percent compared with today’s production models. Also obvious are those rear-hinged (suicide) doors. In fact, all doors have an opening angle of 90 degrees, making the interior more accessible. And there’s the obvious autonomous tech. The F 015 has an extensive sensor system that allows it to permanently monitor the entire area surrounding it. There’s also Car-2-Car communications tech that’s already been shown in the S-Class S500 Intelligent Drive Prototype, featuring advanced 3D cameras and detailed digital maps.

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The driver (or lack thereof) can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Few details were given regarding the drivetrain itself, but Mercedes claims it consists of a hydrogen fuel cell stack, a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors that have 134 hp each.

A fully-charged battery gives the F 015 a driving range of up to 124 miles. With a full tank of hydrogen, range goes up to 684 miles. No production plans exist, but the F 015 is another clear indicator as to where Mercedes is heading over the next few years in design, materials, and above all, high-tech efficiency.