Mercedes-Benz EQFri, 09/01/2017 - 14:50
Science fiction predicted it and soon it may be a reality: zero-polluting cars that drive themselves. Mercedes-Benz, whose powerful engines and performance-driven vehicles have kept it a cut above the rest for years, is banking on connected and electric automotive trends to keep it there. A new spin-off brand will take the 130-year-old automaker into the future. EQ, which stands for Electric Intelligence, will deliver its first model in 2018.
The new brand is part of Mercedes-Benz’s umbrella strategy called CASE, meaning connected, autonomous, shared and service, electric. Electric vehicles are expected to represent a significant portion of Mercedes-Benz’s sales by 2025. “We have designed the EQ to be the car of the future. It will be fully connected, self-driving and emissions free,” says Ola Källenius, Board Member of Daimler AG. The company expects the first real EQ to transform drivers into passengers at will, unless they prefer to be behind the wheel.
Autonomous features such as real-time traffic analysis and environment recognition are expected to lead EQ models toward an accident-free future. The car will provide new realms of comfort by learning passengers’ preferences regarding routes, radio stations and ambiance control. While remaining in a personalized bubble is attractive, connectivity will also transform the car into a digital platform that links people to the outside world. EQ and Mercedes-Benz are adopting the slogan, “Network yourself with your car, and your car will network itself with the world.”
Mercedes-Benz’s technology even considers health and fitness. EQ vehicles will feature an integrated system connected with the Mercedes me platform, where drivers will introduce personal data that the car will translate into active and healthy lifestyle recommendations. The platform will monitor vital signs with sensors embedded in the steering wheel or through wearable devices and the car will respond adjusting the aroma, ambient lighting and climate to keep passengers in optimal health and stress-free conditions.
All this new technology merits a significant visual transformation in EQ’s models. The development of a new concept of electro-aesthetics will replace buttons and other control devices for touchscreens and displays. The dashboard and instrument clusters will be replaced by a 24-inch thin-film transistor widescreen, side mirrors will be replaced by cameras that project images onto displays and the rear-view mirror will also transform into a display screen.