Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo revealed: ‘Urban transformer’ previews driverless future

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Mercedes-Benz has pulled the wraps from its new Vision Tokyo concept today, revealing the latest in a growing list of futuristic show cars. Arriving on the heels of January’s F015 concept, the Vision Tokyo brings the same focus on lifestyle-oriented driverless electric vehicle technology, combined with sleek futuristic styling. While the earlier F015 wore a sleek four-door coupe design that focused on both sporty styling and interior space, the Vision Tokyo pushes further toward the latter with a taller people-mover shape. Mercedes describes the Vision Tokyo as a five-seater, but as one glimpse at the interior reveals, it’s a spacious and lounge-like capacity. For the most part, the Vision Tokyo is presented as “the perfect partner” for Generation Z, defined as those that have grown up with the advanced communications technologies that have been evolving since the mid-1990s. On the styling front, that means huge 26-inch wheels (but then, how many concepts are missing out on gigantic wheels), and that lounge-like cabin. The real benefit to the Vision Tokyo though is its focus on autonomous driving, hinted at by the sensor-laden fin on the roof and the expansive displays inside. The option of a driverless mode also means that while a human can take manual control if they wish, the Vision Tokyo is aimed more at those inclined to let the on-board computers do the work. “As a contemporary-style club lounge, the Vision Tokyo brings people together. With the car in autonomous driving mode they are able to chill and chat, without having to worry about steering a way through the dense traffic,” Mercedes-Benz says. As with the F015, power in the Vision Tokyo is provided by a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system. In hybrid form, Mercedes claims a driving range of around 980 kilometres. The Vision Tokyo isn’t slated for production anytime soon, but with most carmakers now looking at around 2020 to 2030 as a launch window for their driverless vehicle technologies, we could see this concept – or something like it – roll out of Mercedes showrooms in the not-too-distant future. Click the photos tab above for more images of the Vision Tokyo. MORE: Mercedes-Benz conceptsMORE: all driverless vehicle news coverage