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Episode 7: Open for the future.

If you want a glimpse of the future, just drive there. Like Mercedes-Benz did with the F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle. It looks maybe twenty or thirty years ahead to a time when autonomous and accident-free driving is a matter of fact. And when technologies that mark the highest level of sophistication today have been replaced by new inventions.

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion.

The future becomes the present.

It is nice to think that the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle came to visit us from the future. And that is actually almost the case. While it was built today – it was built with all ideas and all knowledge about what mobility might look like tomorrow.

Scope for communication, work or relaxation.

The F 015 Luxury in Motion is equipped with a host of technological innovations. At its heart is the autonomous driving mode: the vehicle steers itself. Driver and front passenger can turn their seats to face the rear with complete confidence in the vehicle’s capabilities.

This creates scope for communication, work or relaxation. No wonder that this research vehicle has a completely newly designed interior tha.

Ground-breaking technology for tomorrow's production vehicles.

The research vehicle helps researchers and developers to think many years ahead. They are able to test innovative solutions at an early stage and then make them ready for production without haste. At the same time, they give the general public a great opportunity to think about the future. Because it usually arrives sooner than you think.  This approach is not limited to just passenger cars at Mercedes-Benz. The Future Truck 2025 provides a look ahead to self-driving trucks and tomorrow’s logistics industry.

No question: maybe future vehicles will look different than the F 015 Luxury in Motion or the Future Truck 2025. But some features will certainly make the transition to future production vehicles. Which ones? Only the future will actually tell.

Future Truck 2025.

The Mercedes-Benz research vehicles advance the thinking about mobility. They have a long tradition.

The world's first automobile was at the same time the first research vehicle: Benz Patent Motor Car, 1886.

A history of innovation from day one.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the world’s first automobile was at the same time the first research vehicle in the brand’s history. Carl Benz filed for a patent on his motor car on 29 January 1886. He developed it into a production vehicle on its basis. And in so doing, he ushered in an entirely new era of personal mobility. By the way, his then competitor Gottlieb Daimler recognised the potential at exactly the same time and realised it in his vehicles.

Thinking ahead and testing ideas: research vehicles are both suitable as well as convincing vehicles for this purpose. Every single one of them is equipped with important technologies for future production vehicles. This is evident when looking at the more recent vehicles that have the “F” in their name and some of their technologies, which were ahead of their time and in part made it to series production today.

Mercedes-Benz research vehicles with some of their highlights.

They give convincing answers to tomorrow’s questions and generate confidence in the auto-mobility of the future.

The Prometheus project for future mobility.

Apart from research vehicles, the engineers of course also work with converted production vehicles to develop and test technologies. One extensive project was Prometheus (Programme for European Traffic with Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety), a joint European project on future mobility led by Mercedes-Benz that started in 1986. It was an unparalleled research partnership of all major European automotive manufacturers, their suppliers and a host of scientific institutes. The project ran for eight years and the results were presented to the public in October 1994.

Project Prometheus (1986 to 1994) and the VITA research vehicle: ground-breaking for today's assistance systems and even for autonomous driving.

Many of the findings live on in modern cars, for example active proximity control or the automatic emergency brake – in passenger cars as well as in commercial vehicles. The impact of Prometheus even affects the future of autonomous driving.