Hybrid/Electric, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Reviews, Toyota

Mercedes-Benz’s Hideous New Mobility Concept Isn’t All That New

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On Monday, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Imaginative and prescient URBANETIC (styled in all caps by the producer) — an all-electric, autonomous nightmare the corporate claims “solutions the questions of future city mobility.”

The modular design is as versatile as it’s ugly. However it’s an necessary instance of the path automakers are collectively heading. Regardless of autonomous automobiles being oversold by producers for years, we’re lastly reaching some extent the place they really feel snug sufficient to monetize them. Mercedes thinks the Urbanetic will show revolutionary in redefining our roads. Nonetheless, it’s not the most recent concept, regardless of Daimler calling it a “groundbreaking idea.”

Toyota’s e-Palette idea, unveiled at CES 2018, equally makes use of a flat, electrified chassis permitting for countless customization. Basic Motors has the Silent Utility Rover Common Superstructure (SURUS), which is identical idea utilized for autonomous army purposes. The Common additionally previewed the AUTOnomy idea in 2002, giving us an early glimpse at what different producers would attempt within the years to return.

No matter who’s doing it, the overall concept is to place all of the mechanical elements right into a flat plank that’s straightforward to mass produce after which stack no matter physique sort you need on prime.

For Mercedes, with the ability to swap our bodies is a vital a part of the recipe. Hypothetical Urbanetic clients will be capable of change the shell manually or by way of an automated system — a course of Daimler claims would take just some minutes. Theoretically, you might use the vehicle as an autonomous cargo hauler and convert it right into a 12-occupant individuals mover inside the similar day.

That leaves the Urbanetic working primarily as a part of a business fleet. Mercedes sees the mannequin as a attainable answer for native public transit and autonomous city supply. The corporate even famous the platform’s capacity to function 24 hours per day (minus when it’s charging) can be a boon to fleet managers contending with a scarcity of professional drivers.

Because it’s meant for metropolis use, the vehicle consists of giant shows on the entrance and sides to telegraph its intentions to pedestrians. Whereas this can be a high-quality concept, we’d choose it merely keep away from contact with any and all objects in its path. Nevertheless, that is dependent upon the success of autonomous know-how to work flawlessly when scaled up. The business nonetheless hasn’t confirmed that self-driving automobiles are prepared for a primetime slot, leaving fashions just like the Imaginative and prescient Urbanetic to reside in a quite presumptive tomorrow.

Assuming the unit does ultimately find yourself merging with actual-world visitors, we sincerely hope Mercedes-Benz redesigns the shell meant for human passengers. It’s one of many homeliest designs we’ve needed to endure over the previous few years.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

– Mercedes-Benz’s Hideous New Mobility Concept Isn’t All That New –

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