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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.

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.

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