Why the F 015 Luxury in Motion is Turning Heads
Anyone who has been stuck in a driver’s seat for more time than what they would have wished for will admit they’ve secretly wished for their car to be able to drive itself. This wish can now be a reality for those who call interstate freeways their daily commute.
Starting the machine
An autonomous car is a vehicle capable of self-governance. It will detect static or moving objects in its vicinity and navigate through them without any sort of human involvement. It uses different methods to detect those objects, including but not limited to radar, GPS, and computer vision; and advanced control systems to interpret the signals it receives and to perform accordingly on the road.
The first truly autonomous car appeared in the 1980s, with Carnegie Mellon University’s Navlab. The Eureka Prometheus Project appeared in the late 1980s, along with the pioneering Mercedes-Benz and Bundeswehr University Munich. Many car brands have since developed their own kind of technology to implement safety automated features to their newest motor vehicles.
Choosing the Right Features
Autonomous Cruise Control (ACC) is available in most cars, and it assists the driver in operating the wheel and going as far as stopping the car from colliding with other cars. Some earlier ACC systems activated warnings for the driver to brake. Other more recent automated systems will go as far as decelerating and bringing the vehicle to a complete halt from motorway speeds. However, immediately after ACC is triggered as a safety measure, car drivers need to continue to operate the car and resume driving to the following destination.
Some drivers will admit that they wish they could lay back and relax for a bit before arriving at their destination. Others will alternately prefer to read emails or prepare a meeting presentation for work. The time we spend in our cars is non-productive time in some cases. Drivers will be on the road for extended periods of time, whether driving from one state to another, on their daily commute or being in an unavoidable traffic jam.
Into the Future
Traffic is a big problem for large urban centers. The number of cars on the road is ever growing, and the car population doesn’t seem to be lowering anytime soon. ACC, lane centering, assisted parking and other recent features are becoming standard in most cars, and automated cars are the next thing that’s coming in the automobile industry.
A standardized classification system for levels of automated vehicles was released in 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a classification of six different levels of vehicle automatization.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) published a more detailed one later in 2014. By defining and creating the future where it’ll be no longer necessary for people to drive at all times, we’re bringing it closer.
From Zero to Sixty
The base, or level 0, is where no automation is happening. Cars are fully controlled by human drivers. Level 1 is semi-autonomous, where most functions are still controlled by a human, but emergency braking can also be automated and generated by car sensors. This classification is named Driver Assistance in SAE classification. At least two controls can be automated at the same time in level 2. Some of the functions mentioned are lane centering or lane keeping, combined with radar cruise control in Partial Automation.
The fourth level is described as Conditional Automation. Level 3 automation describes an imbedded system, which monitors the driving environment. In the case of a fallback on the performance of the system, a driver is ready to respond appropriately to a request. Level 4 features High Automation, in which the task of driving is performed solely by the system. The driver is only allowed to intervene in certain driving modes, since the vehicle drives itself perfectly. Even in the case of an emergency response, the system doesn’t need a human driver to intervene.
The last SAE descriptive classification is called Full Automation. This type of car is driven entirely by the automated driving system.
Mercedes-Benz is standing at the forefront of automated vehicle proposals with a distinctive design for autonomous driving. The F 015 model was envisioned as the company’s view of a lifestyle from the future. This concept vehicle, which epitomizes new Mercedes-Benz, style and is a prolongation of the “sensual purity” design language.
This vehicle isn’t just a means to get from one place to the other, but rather an extension of your home. It can be a retreat and a place to relax, or a lounge to share and collaborate with others. It’s virtually a mobile living or meeting room you can take with you whenever you’re on the go.
This 5-meter long concept vehicle is designed to be able to perfectly read and integrate with the environment to sense the moving and non-moving objects and the road.
There’s no Place like Home
In the age of refrigerators that let you know when you’ll run out of milk, and toilets that keep track of when they were last cleaned, the interior for the new Mercedes-Benz concept lounge car completely embodies connectivity with the world, and takes it a step further.
The possibility to connect not only amongst your company, but also with the world outside while you’re on the road, all while being driven by your automated vehicle points in the direction of futuristic notions. The technology is shown to be seamlessly layered in the inside of the side doors, where a LED interface will let you search and listen to music, research food spots in the city you’ll be visiting next, make phone calls to a friend overseas, or do all of those simultaneously through a touch screen and imbedded microphones in the leather seating.
The visibility in the front and rear provide clarity and awareness for the passengers to be able to react to and appreciate the car’s surroundings at the same time. You can also communicate with the outside world and the car via gesture control and touch screens that are laid out in a manner that make the whole experience seamless and within easy reach.
The layout gives a feeling of spaciousness and luxurious comfort for all four passengers. Clear lines and smooth transitions between the exterior and interior materials provide the cabin with a sense of comfort and serenity that makes sure you have privacy through dimmable polarized windows while keeping you mindful of what the road offers ahead. The key feature is the swiveling front seats which allow for face-to-face seat configuration. This lets the passengers communicate and share the space.
Let’s not forget that this is also a car. A luxurious and environmentally friendly car.
The electric hybrid engine system has a range of up to 1100 kilometers (683.5 miles) of zero-emission driving. This range is similar to that of a comparable diesel-powered car, but with the added benefit of zero emissions.
The Future is Now
New Mercedes models for the year 2017 will have some form of semi-automated driver assistance feature. This will be included either as a safety feature or as a way to simplify our lives by trusting the technology we have available at hand.