Mercedes-Benz's F015 concept is a self-driving, hydrogen-powered living room

Relax! The car will do the driving. And the entertaining. And it won't pollute. The F015 concept car is barely recognizable.

Mercedes-Benz's F015 concept is a self-driving, hydrogen-powered living room

Mercedes-Benz's F015 concept is a self-driving, hydrogen-powered living room

You can't fault Mercedes-Benz for its enthusiasm. As the company rolled out the F015 Luxury in Motion concept car on Monday night before the Consumer Electronics Show, about the only thing recognizable about it was the four wheels.

Everything else, from the lozenge shape to the touchscreen-sheathed interior, screamed of a beyond-Jetsons future. Sure, that's what concept cars are all about, but this one mashes so many ambitions into its silver shell that it's frankly overwhelming. Here are the highlights from our high-tech perspective:

1. It is designed to spare you from driving

Even those of us who love driving have to admit it's tiring. The F015 is designed to drive itself if you'd rather be doing something else. "Cars will turn into mobile homes in the very best sense of the word," said Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche at the announcement event. "Exclusive cocoons on wheels, letting people do exactly what they want or need to do."

This cocoon will have passenger chairs that can turn toward each other for interaction. I noticed the chairs were white and had to wonder whether they would be self-cleaning.

2. The interior of the car is covered in touch displays

Although Mercedes-Benz has resisted touchscreens in the past, the F015 represents yet another break from that--and then some. Its interior includes wide bands of touchscreens, not just in the dashboard, but in the passenger seating so riders can access infotainment directly.

3. The car will be proactively safe

The safety features list goes on forever, but the newest thing was a filmed demo showing the F015 yielding to a pedestrian, "saying" a short, reassuring phrase, and actually beaming crosswalk symbols onto the road so the person would know it was safe to walk there. Of course Zetsche referred to the old Knight Rider series and its robotic Kit' TransAm--as his own little robot, named Cambot, looked on.

4. It runs on hydrogen fuel

Clearly this isn't an afterthought feature. Mercedes-Benz trotted out its first fuel-cell concept in 2011, and it's putting fuel cells into the F015 as well. But while the 300 miles' expected range of the Toyota Mirai is already pretty nice, the F015 doubles that to about 683 miles (1,100 kilometers). It's not all fuel-cell power: That accounts for about 80 percent of the total, while the rest comes from a supplemental battery that can be charged wirelessly.

The F015 doesn't waste any time. As a concept, it represents a radical evolutionary step. We never know how much will actually end up in a shipping, but Mercedes-Benz certainly deserves credit for thinking big.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CESAutomotivecarsMercedes-Benzindustry verticals

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Melissa Riofrio

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?