Mercedes-Benz Tests Concept Car at Point

Photo courtesy of Melissa Rofria

The San Francisco skyline serves as a backdrop to the Mercedes Benz F 015, an experimental driverless automobile.

Driverless vehicle visits Alameda

Driverless cars have yet to appear on Alameda’s streets, but one was recently seen tooling around Alameda Point. PC World Executive Editor Melissa Riofrio was there to catch all the action.

"The Mercedes-Benz F 015 looks so out-of-this-world amazing, even people who can’t stand the idea of a self-driving car might still be willing to ride in it," she wrote. She climbed aboard the experimental car for a test ride and found plenty of space inside. The experimental car features an extra-long wheelbase to maximize passenger room.

She paid no attention to the road while the F 015 drove her and her fellow passengers along the runways at Alameda Point. They chatted in the space-age cabin and skimmed music choices on the car’s integrated touchscreens. Riofrio even waved her hand at the dashboard to adjust the air

While self-driving cars may become a reality as early as 2020, Riofrio writes that we’re nowhere near figuring out how to incorporate them into our everyday world.

"We don’t know how much to trust them with the thousands of split-second decisions that driving requires. We don’t how to behave as passengers or pedestrians. And, honestly, some of us just don’t want to give up control," she said.

Koert Groeneveld of Mercedes-Benz takes a broader view. He sees megacities rising in the future and predicts that getting around a denser urban environment will take longer and be more difficult.

"A self-driving car like the F 015 would let people use the time in traffic for other activities," Groeneveld told PC World.

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 looks like a lounge on wheels and allows the passengers to relax while the car handles the logistics. The car’s four captain’s chairs have built-in seat belts and soft leather cushioning.

You can drive the Mercedes-Benz F 015 by taking control of the steering wheel and pedals. "But wouldn’t you rather kick back and let the car worry about it?" Riofrio asked.


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