As a car design geek, it’s always fun to see what automakers have up their sleeves for the future. Often a company will release a concept car that is stylistically cutting-edge, but basically just a shiny paperweight, it doesn’t operate or move the conversation very much. When Mercedes released their vision for the car of 2030 earlier this year, they had some true vision, and some actual moving parts. The F 015 is a strangely named, and even stranger looking car. A shiny jellybean of a thing, the windows are made to blend with the rest of the body, giving it a uniformly sleek and ‘what’s inside there?’ appearance. The car is fully autonomous, so aware of its surroundings that it will stop for a pedestrian, project a crosswalk, and audibly tell someone it’s safe to walk. The Verge recently took a spin in the car and has an interesting report on it. Who knows if Mercedes’ will follow through on this vision of the future, but it’s cool to see an automaker do some deep thinking.
Passengers sit facing one another, allowing for a level of interaction not achievable in today’s cars. The controls are able to be taken over manually, though this seems like a future-pod that most passengers would prefer being passive within.