Undoubtedly, Mercedes was one of the big stars of CES 2015, thanks in large part to Dr. Dieter Zetsche’s Keynote Speech. Zetsche is the Chairman of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes Benz, and despite those impressive titles, he isn’t afraid to poke a little fun at himself.
The speech began with a video featuring robots complaining about the lack of intelligence that humans have. They exchange banter about how automation is better, and how they don’t understand why humans do certain things manually. In the middle of the argument, Dr. Zetsche enters the room and announces he is there to pick up one of the robots. One asks, “are you a robot?” and he replies, “No, I’m just a German.”
A murmur of laughter sweeps across the packed theater. The tone is set.
Mercedes is at the head of the pack when it comes to connectivity, safety, and innovation. In fact, they started R&D on a self-driving car 30 years ago. Surprisingly, much emphasis was also put on the human communication experience, as evidenced by the reveal of the F015.
The F015 made a dramatic debut, as it was “called” onto the stage by a command from the paired smartwatch. Through smoke, flashing lights, and techno music, the car slowly made its way to the front of the theater.
The driverless “Luxury in Motion” F015 boasts seats that can rotate into a carriage setup – meaning the passengers can all face each other and enjoy each other’s company without having to worry about controlling the vehicle.
Should the “driver” want to ride alone and have a quiet space, that is entirely possible too. The car features six displays, and operates mostly by touch or gesture. Through mobile device integration, the car is easily able to access a user’s information, making it convenient to call or text a colleague, for example.
We found futuristic innovation paired with the sentimental notion of reconnecting with fellow humans or even one’s self truly extraordinary.