Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA previews the car of 2030

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Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA autonomous concept car from 2015 Frankfurt motor show. Picture: Supplied. Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA autonomous concept car from 2015 Frankfurt motor show. Picture: Supplied. Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA autonomous concept car from 2015 Frankfurt motor show. Picture: Supplied. Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA autonomous concept car from 2015 Frankfurt motor show. Picture: Supplied. Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA autonomous concept car from 2015 Frankfurt motor show. Picture: Supplied. Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA previews the car of 2030

15 September 2015 by Joshua Dowling · CarsGuide

It might be just motor show tease for now, but beyond the concept car hype is technology that could literally drive us two decades from now.

This is what the car of the future looks like if you believe the inventor of the motor vehicle, Mercedes-Benz.

You don’t need conventional headlights and turn signals -- because this automated sedan doesn’t even need a driver. It “talks” to traffic lights and other vehicles.

The teardrop-shaped spaceship on wheels is what German maker Mercedes-Benz believes autonomous cars will look like in 2030 and beyond.

Unveiled overnight ahead of this year’s Frankfurt motor show, Europe’s biggest automotive expo, the concept car has reignited debate about how much control should be taken away from drivers.

Across town, the global boss of General Motors, Mary Barra, one of the car industry’s most vocal advocates for autonomous vehicles told international media: “There are a lot of aspects that need to be solved (with autonomous cars) but I think the journey is worth going on because we know it fundamentally creates safer vehicles and reduces congestion which therefore improves the environment.”

The Mercedes show car has petrol-electric hybrid power and can drive 66km on electricity alone.

But the experimental vehicle was primarily designed to showcase advances in car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure technology.

Most of the world’s car makers -- and tech companies Google and Apple -- are developing autonomous vehicle technology.

Earlier this year Audi demonstrated its driver assistance systems being tested in busy and unpredictable traffic in China.

Late last year, Mercedes-Benz allowed media to ride in the back seat of an autonomous car in Silicon Valley -- where it narrowly avoided a collision.

Two years ago Volvo showed a car that parks itself -- without anyone behind the wheel -- with the tap of an icon on a smartphone.

The other technical feat of the latest Mercedes show car is how easily is slips through the air at cruising speeds.

Despite being as long and wide as a Holden Caprice limousine, the Mercedes concept has the same aerodynamic rating (for the tech heads: 0.19Cd) as the bubble-shaped General Motors EV1 electric car from the late 1990s.

Adjustable panels at the front and rear of the Mercedes move into position at 80km/h to reduce resistance through the air, and therefore reduce fuel consumption.

For all its hi-tech gadgetry, however, this Mercedes is a long way from becoming a showroom reality.

There isn’t even anywhere to fit a registration plate.

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