This Is The Autonomous Mercedes-Benz Of The Future

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Level 5 autonomy means that the focus shifts from the driver to the rider.

Level 5 autonomous driving technology has been a hot topic for years now. In a nutshell, vehicles like this won't require human intervention to complete a journey. Tesla boss Elon Musk has made bold statements about his company being close to basic Level 5 autonomy, but these claims have been aggressively denounced by experts. Even Amazon is making moves towards self-driving vehicles.

Still, it's nice to dream sometimes, and that's what Lujie Huang has done by creating the Mercedes-Benz Vision Duet concept as his thesis design project at ArtCenter College of Design. The institution is based in Pasadena, California.

Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
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Huang's EV concept paints a picture of a 2035 fully electric grand tourer with seating for three and Level 5 autonomous driving technology. Much like the Mercedes Vision AVTR Concept, the Vision Duet has no traditional steering wheels or pedals, so Huang has designed a cabin that is less driving-focused and more riding-focused.

This is evident in the lounge-like layout, with occupants able to face each other over a large table in the center, fostering a more social environment. The open cabin reinforces both human-human and human-nature relationships. Oh, and there are pop-out refrigerators on either side of the bench-style seat to store your wine. With the car doing all the driving, traditional knobs and controls have been entirely done away with.

Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance

The sleek and dramatic lines of the Vision Duet are in line with concept car norms, although the only real nod to current Mercedes models like the S-Class is the large three-pointed star in front. Other styling elements include especially large wheels, a slim LED lighting strip spanning the width of the front fascia, and another full-length lighting bar at the back.

Early in his presentation, Huang references the shape of the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300 SL with its gullwing-style doors. When open, they afford a similarly expansive outward view to the Vision Duet's rounded cutouts. If manufacturers can get Level 5 autonomy developed and approved, we can see how Huang's beautifully detailed design could point to luxury vehicles of the future.

Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Lujie Huang/Behance
Source Credits: Lujie Huang/Behance

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