It is Plus X Award’s aim, at regular intervals, to recognize extraordinary achievements which signify outstanding technological milestones. For the Plus X Award’s jury panel, the development of the Mercedes Benz F 015 was one of those milestones.
While elsewhere the implementability of autonomous driving is still being discussed, Mercedes’ developers have already made that decisive step forward. How will we utilize this vehicle which, in a positive sense, is “left to its own devices” and – even more importantly – how will it interact with its surroundings? The “F 015 Luxury in Motion” is the groundbreaking concept car based on the Stuttgart car manufacturer’s fundamental research. Via light and sound, the car communicates with the outside world to give information to pedestrians and other traffic around it and to warn of potential imminent danger. In the not-too-distant future, this human-environment interface will bear more significance than the technology inside a vehicle and it is the decisive step towards a broad acceptance of autonomous driving technology. This is not about feasibility but about the integration of today’s and especially future traffic scenarios, from long distance trips to “shared space” in densely populated cities. The F 015’s communicative elements also show how conventional cars can interact with their surroundings, an indispensable feature in view of the ever-increasing number of driver assistance systems and partially-autonomous features.