Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Vision Tokyo concept at the ongoing 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. This concept is the German major’s idea of an autonomous automotive lounge that can be turned into a hip living space amidst the mayhem of a megacity. The vehicle also pays homage to Generation Z, those people who are born after 1995 and have grown up with new media.
The concept has the body of a van and is claimed to seat five people. It has dimensions of 4,803 mm, 2,100 mm and 1,600 mm in length, width and height respectively. The exterior is painted in monochrome Alubeam and the side windows too have been screen printed in the same shade. You might think that this will hinder vision, your partially right. Vision will be hindered, but not of the occupants but of the onlookers. This print is to give the passengers privacy and at the same time allow them to see what’s going on outside.
The huge front grille and the rear windscreen are both illuminated by LEDs and can act as sound analyzers when music is playing inside. Included among the illuminated elements on the body are the side skirts and massive 26-inch wheels, Mercedes says that they are there to indicate the vehicle’s emission-free electric drive system.
Access to the cabin is provided by upward-swinging doors on the left side of the concept, this is done keeping in mind that Tokyo has right-hand drive traffic. The view of the cabin is different as there aren’t rows of seats to be seen but an oval-shaped couch that exudes a lounge-type feel. Another striking absence is that of a front windshield, instead of that, there is a continuous stretch of glass paneling that gives an unobstructed view of the surroundings adding to the relaxed ambience. The comfort factor is further enhanced by perforated pale leather backlit seats.
The Vision Tokyo concept is envisioned as a digital automobile companion, and to that effect there are large wraparound LED screens behind the passengers. The highlight however, is the presence of holographic images representing apps, maps and other functions from the entertainment system, within the innermost area of the cabin.
If the driver wants to drive the vehicle manually, a seat facing in the direction of travel is released from the center of the couch at the front, the steering wheel also shifts into the driving position from its previous standby stance. The concept van is also equipped with innovative algorithms that enable Deep Machine Learning and Intelligent Predictive Engine allowing the car to get increasingly acquainted with its occupants after every outing.
Power for the Vision Tokyo is sourced from a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain as well as a compact, high-voltage battery featuring inductive charging. The hydrogen is kept in storage tanks made out of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). Mercedes claims a combined mileage of 980 km (609 miles). Out of this, 190 km (118 miles) can be covered on battery power alone with the rest coming from electricity generated by the fuel cell.