1/6/2015 | 1 MINUTE READ

Daimler Reveals Its Vision of Tomorrow’s Self-Driving Car

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Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz unit is using this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to illustrate how self-driving cars might look and function in 2030.

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Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz unit is using this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to illustrate how self-driving cars might look and function in 2030.

The company's F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle seats four in an interior whose two front seats can rotate to face rearward for face-to-face conversation among occupants when the car operates autonomously. Rear-hinged rear doors enable easy access to the passenger compartment, which Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche likens to a "mobile living space."

The car's steering wheel retracts to the instrument panel when the operator switches to self-driving mode. Exterior front and rear lights switch from white to blue to signal its self-driving status to others. Large LED arrays in the front grill and rear panel service as driving lights and message display boards.

Occupants can operate an array of six large interior displays in each door and the front and rear by touch, gestures and eye tracking. Mercedes says the displays can exchange information with others in the vehicle and with the outside world.

The F 015 is 40% lighter than a similarly sized conventional car, thanks to extensive use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, aluminum and high-strength steel, according to the company. The vehicle is fitted with a plug-in hydrogen fuel cell hybrid powertrain. The system has a range of 1,100 km (684 miles): 900 km using electricity generated by the fuel cell and 200 km on stored electric power.