Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a far-reaching vision for the capabilities of its autonomous vehicles with plans for your vehicle to take on some of your more mundane daily tasks.
In a recent interview with AutoCar, Daimler CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche spoke of plans to develop an autonomous fleet that can interact and learn from its surroundings whilst communicating with other networked vehicles. The technology is already being trialled in Germany in collaboration with Bosch, where in-road sensors detect empty parking spaces and inform nearby connected Mercedes vehicles of the vacancy.
But easier parking is just a short-term goal. Dr Zetsche has ambitions for a suite of advanced services that your car can take care of while you relax on the way to work. Acting as a sort of PA, Zetsche imagines a future where your car could drop the kids off at school, pick up the dry cleaning and collect a relative from the airport.
Further to high-level automation, the future development of Mercedes-Benz vehicles will include health and wellbeing sensors, to monitor passengers or adjust vehicle comfort settings accordingly. This might be as simple as adjusting the interior temperature, ambient lighting, or seat massage, but the Zetsche’s goal is for passengers to get out of a vehicle in better condition than when they got in.
Whilst he refrained from going into further detail, Dr Zetsche cited the Mercedes F015 concept (pictured) as an example of the idea. The concept was revealed at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA, and showcased Mercedes’s vision for autonomous cars that focus on offering maximum comfort to passengers.
Dr Zetsche said of the vision that:
“We do not know exactly what the car will look like in 10 years from now, but we do know it will be of greater value for all of us. That’s why our cars have begun to become quality time machines, to hand back time to let you do what you want. But that time will always include driving a car for pure pleasure. We will certainly never forget that at Mercedes.”
The first hints of what to expect can be seen in the Vision Tokyo and F015 Luxury In Motion Concepts from 2015.
With the Paris Motor Show fast approaching, Mercedes-Benz is expected to reveal its next step in the plan, with the rumoured reveal of the brand’s EQ electric vehicle line.