Mercedes-Benz unveils self-driving car powered by hydrogen fuel

January 13, 2015 0 By Stephen Vagus
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German automaker reveals a new concept car that can drive itself

Mercedes-Benz has begun showing of its new self-driving car, which is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The German automaker unveiled its new vehicle, called the F 015 Luxury in Motion, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The vehicle is a concept car that represents the possible future of what transportation may look like. The new vehicle is designed to be a “mobile living space,” according to Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz.

New vehicle is designed to be a mobile living space

The F 015 is over 17 feet long, making it nearly as large as the Cadillac Escalade SUV. The car is equipped with lounge-style chairs that can turn 30 degrees in order to offer easier access. The seats can be made to face the front of the vehicle in the event that manual driving becomes necessary. The steering wheel is designed to fold into the dashboard when it is not needed. Six displays provide those within the vehicle with information about the world around them. These displays can also be used for entertainment purposes.

Hydrogen fuel cell and battery system will provide energy for the vehicle

The F 015 is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell, but also a battery that can be used to power its various electronic components. Combining a fuel cell and a conventional battery system could make the concept vehicle quite attractive, in terms of performance. When the battery’s charge runs out, the hydrogen fuel cell can provide enough electrical power to keep the vehicle operational. The vehicle will be able to charge its battery at conventional charging stations and can replenish its supply of hydrogen fuel at stations offering this gas.

Self-driving vehicles may present a new challenge to the auto industry

Mercedes-Benz believes that self-driving vehicles will become quite common on the roads by 2025. As such, automakers may have to change the way they make vehicles for consumers. Some companies have built their reputation by making cars that are high performance, with a focus on the actual driving experience. Once people no longer have to drive, determining how to make this experience enjoyable can be a challenge.