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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CESAutomotivecarsMercedes-Benzindustry verticals

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

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?