Even though by “SF” we mean San Francisco, when it’s the autonomous concept by Mercedes-Benz we’re talking about, those two letters could very well stand for Science Fiction.
The two clips were posted on YouTube by CARJAM TV and follow the F015 concept along a relaxing stroll around the hilly city on the American west coast, while the second goes into more detail about the interior of the car.
Watching the car roll around the sloped streets – or any other type of street, for that matter – passing other “ordinary” cars is the kind of image that really stays with you. With its pretty large and silver silhouette that refuses to abide by the current design rules, with no number plates and barely visible windows, the F015 looks like a time capsule or, better still, like a time machine. I can just imagine what must have gone through the minds of the bystanders as they watched the car passing by – “those pesky Japanese”, the older men must have murmured, “what are they up to now?”
Well, “those pesky Japanese” are actually as German as they can be and they’re basically coming up with the future of personal transportation. With all the big names in the race for autonomous vehicles (Apple, Google and so on), at the moment it’s Mercedes-Benz who has come up on top offering more than just your regular vehicle with some autonomous features and more of a completely automated cocoon that does so much more than simply ferrying you around.
I was recently reading about an older problem the advent of the autonomous cars will bring back into attention: motion sickness. With the worry of handling the steering wheel gone, people will start doing all sorts of things inside their cars, things that will most likely involve reading or looking into the screen of a mobile device (or even the car’s display). As we all remember from since we were little and travelled in the rear seats, not looking out the window while the car is moving can quickly translate into nausea with a very messy possible outcome.
Soiling that beautiful interior would really be a shame, but I’m sure if we can figure a way to make cars that drive themselves, we can also manage to overcome a simple problem like motion sickness.