Although Google has firmly established its hold on the public’s imagination when it comes to driverless cars, Mercedes-Benz just jumped into the game with a typically baller concept design that it envisions will change more than just the way we drive.
Dezeen reports that the unveiling at CES by Mercedes-Benz included a mission statement about the future being shaped by autonomous-autos:
“Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society,” explained head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche. “The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space.”
In addition to the fact that the company sees this new world of automobiles as a sort of office/lounge in which you and your rich friends laugh and plan big business deals, Mercedes-Benz also sees it as having the potential to reshape urban space:
As part of the research conducted for the F 015 Luxury in Motion, Mercedes-Benz also developed a forward-looking scenario called “City of the Future 2030+”.
The future of urban infrastructure design – as envisioned by Mercedes-Benz – will consist of special “safety zones”, much like today’s low-emission zones in city centres, that are only open to autonomous vehicles.
Urban space could also be reclaimed as a result of autonomous vehicles parking themselves outside of a city’s central areas.
“In the shared space of the future, humans and machines share the roads,” said Mercedes-Benz in a statement. “The ‘car-friendly city’ is transformed increasingly into the ‘people-friendly city’ without any loss of individual freedom”.
That actually sounds great. Sadly, the fact is that most of us will never be able to afford the vehicles that would create this magical land of cars and people skipping freely through the streets hand-in-hand. Most of us will be driving this trash can on wheels.