Daimler AG is looking to change consumer's expectations about self-driving cars with the introduction of its Mercedes-Benz F 015, which was unveiled on Monday during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Until now, car companies like Daimler and Audi have mainly focused on creating automated systems, like steering and braking, in order to make cars easier and safer to operate.
The new luxury sedan concept comes with a spacious cabin and lounge-like seating for up to four people and explores new possibilities for autonomous vehicles that can double as living rooms on wheels.
"Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society," said Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche, one of this year's keynote speakers at CES, according to Reuters. "The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space."
The concept's passenger space is trimmed in nappa leather, polished aluminum and glass, and walnut veneer, with soft blue LED lighting to fit Mercedes' "luxury in motion" theme.
Zetsche confirmed during the event that the F 015 can be operated either manually or autonomously. When the car is in driverless mode, four motorized lounge chairs can be rotated so you can talk with your fellow passengers face-to-face.
The chairs swivel back to face forward during manual operation however.
The vehicle also comes equipped with six digital display screens throughout the cabin. All of the screens can be activated through gestures, touch or even eye-tracking, according to the automaker.
All those features are wrapped up in an impact-resistant structure of lightweight aluminum, high-strength steel and carbon-fiber. Zetsche said the F 015 was designed to accommodate both electric motor and hydrogen fuel cell options.
Several current Mercedes vehicles come equipped with a number of semi-automated systems, like parking assist, steering assist and traffic jam assist.
Stay tuned for more news regarding the F 015 and the Consumer Electronics Show, which runs through January 9 in Las Vegas.