Mercedes-Benz shows Vision Tokyo Concept at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 30, 2015

Mercedes-Benz is proud to unveil its latest concept car with Vision Tokyo. Much like its namesake city, it has a distinct atmosphere, gives us a feel of the future, and is huge structure-wise. Indeed, it is so progressive that it truly is befitting of the name.

While it allows autonomous driving, this five-seater is intelligent, versatile, and shows the continuing growth of the brand. It maintains the proud tradition of the brand when it comes to inventive designs.

This includes for example the Vision Ener-G-Force, which was shown in November 2012 at Los Angeles and the AMG Vision Gran Turismo during 2013 at Sunnyvale. This is the same principle that allowed the brand to exhibit the G-Code last November 2014 in Beijing.

As the capital of Japan, Tokyo has a population of around 9 million people. With an area of 622 square kilometres, it is smaller compared to Paris but with four times the number of people. However, what makes this city very attractive to many people is that it manages to combination high technology and set new trends but manages to keep tradition intact.

These qualities made it the best place for Mercedes-Benz to display the Vision Tokyo. This will be displayed for the world to see during the Tokyo Motor Show, which is set from October 30 to November 7, 2015.

While the brand already presented an autonomous driven car with the F 015 Luxury in Motion, Vision Tokyo wants people to realize that the future car should be something that is not only autonomously driven but also something where you can relax especially during heavy traffic.

Vision Tokyo therefore pays tribute to Generation Z. These are the people who born on 1995 onwards and grew up with new media. For this generation, vehicles are no longer limited to just transporting people from one destination to another.

Vehicles are now also a means to connect with other people. It does not stop there as the Vision Tokyo has more to offer. It has in it algorithms that continue to change and adapt like the Deep Machine Learning. It also utilizes the Predictive Engine, which over time as it is being used, will learn more about the occupants like preferences.

All of these make the Vision Tokyo the best companion for the new generation. Another innovation in the Vision Tokyo that was not seen since in the Mercedes-Benz is the larger space. This is highlighted with the body in monochrome Alubeam and the side windows that have been screen-printed in the same color.

These allow the occupants inside the vehicle a measure of privacy while giving them a view of the outside and enable light to get inside as well. A number of components of the Vision Tokyo are in blue like the 26-inch wheels, surfaces, side skirts, and lines.

All of these combine to show that this car is indeed emission free. Some of the parts of this vehicle were not placed there just for aesthetics. Take for example the fin on its roof. It has the sensors that help with its autonomous driving and a camera that can rotate 360 degrees.

There is another feature that shows how futuristic the Vision Tokyo really is. Rather than the standard windscreen, it has a continuous glass panelling similar to that of a powerboat's cockpit. Like the AMG Vision Gran Turismo for instance, the front headlamps are placed strategically at either of the side and placed at a specific angle.

Furthermore, the region that is found at the front of the car also functions as a means to show that different functions of its lighting system. For example, when music is currently playing inside the Vision Tokyo, instead of displaying a sound analyzer, what it visualizes is a sound pattern.

At the rear portion, red LED cubes surround the window ensuring that it has visual depth. Similar to front, these LED groupings also has a good function as it can also indicate display or even become part it the car's analyzer function.

In terms of dimension, the Vision Tokyo measures 4,803 mm long and 2,100 mm wide. With a height of 1,600 mm this makes it similar to that of mid-series cars. This car can carry up to five passengers who can access the interior through a door on its left-hand side that can swing upward.

This configuration makes it very apt for use in Japan, which practices the right-hand drive. If the windscreen is not the same as the standard ones, this is also true for the passenger seat. In many convention cars, the seats are arranged in rows.

For the Vision City, there is no such thing. Instead of a "front" or a "back" seat, passengers instead are seated on what looks to be an oval-shaped couch. With this unique set-up, passengers are able to enjoy better the advantages of autonomous driving and even enable them to talk face-to-face.

A lot of the older generation assume that since Generation Z grew up with new media, they mostly prefer social media. The reality is that they still prefer to have personal conversations when possible. Thus, aside from being driven autonomously, it can bring more people together.

Even when traffic is heavy, the people inside can continue to relax and let the car do the driving. In the interior, there are wraparound LED screens at the back of the passengers.

With its perforated seats being back-lit, the interior has that high-tech atmosphere which is contrasted by the pale leather with its soft surface finish. While some concept cars display maps and apps through an entertainment system, the Vision Tokyo does it differently.

Since the passengers are seated in an oval-like arrangement, there is clearly some interior space in the middle. This is where the Vision Tokyo shows the different applications but in the form of a three-dimensional hologram.

If the driver suddenly prefers to drive it manually, the seat that faces the direction the car is travelling is released from the group of seats similar to that of a "jump seat" in an aircraft. In addition, the steering wheel moves to the driving position from its standby position under autonomous driving.

Finally, the body of the Vision Tokyo was designed in a manner that ensures the fuel cells that power it are protected from a crash. This particular design is based on the F 015 Luxury in Motion's F-CELL PLUG-IN HYBRID.

This is integrated with the electricity that is generated and the high-voltage battery that is charged through induction. This concept vehicle also makes use of CFRP pressure tanks in order to store hydrogen. The electric hybrid system allows the Vision Tokyo to run for 980 kilometers where 790 kilometers is due to the fuel cell while the rest of the 190 kilometers is owe to the battery power.

Press Release

Mobile club lounge for young, urban trendsetters: Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo: Connected Lounge

The Vision Tokyo is the latest trailblazing spatial experience to come from Mercedes-Benz: its monolithic structure, futuristic design idiom and unique lounge ambience in the interior define it as luxurious, young and progressive – thus making it a fitting tribute to the sophisticated megacity and trendsetting metropolis that is Tokyo. Spatially efficient, versatile and intelligently connected, the Vision Tokyo – which is also capable of driving autonomously – is an urban transformer that reflects the growing youthfulness of the Mercedes-Benz brand. At the same time, this innovative five-seater continues a tradition of visionary design-study showcars that has included the Vision Ener-G-Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013) and G-Code (Beijing, November 2014).

Japan's capital city Tokyo represents home to some nine million people, in an area that is just 622 square kilometres in size – smaller than Paris but with more than four times as many people. This megacity represents a fascinating combination of tradition and contemporary high tech and is constantly defining new trends – making it the ideal location for the premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo. It will be on display to an international audience for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show (30 October to 7 November 2015).

Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG: "The Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo embodies the concept of an automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities. The purity and sensuality of the Vision Tokyo's styling defines a new interpretation of modern luxury from Mercedes-Benz." The conceptual message of the vehicle reflects the increasingly youthful appeal of the Mercedes-Benz brand and perceptions of it as a stylistically influential design brand. The Vision Tokyo is the brainchild of the designers working within Mercedes-Benz's global network of Advanced Design Studios.

Hot on the heels of the F 015 Luxury in Motion autonomously driving luxury saloon comes the Vision Tokyo, with which Mercedes-Benz aims to show how the car of the future can be turned into a hip living space – a chill-out zone in the midst of megacity traffic mayhem.

The Vision Tokyo is a homage to the urban Generation Z, the cohort of people born since 1995 who have grown up with the new media. The role of the vehicle has changed for this global generation: it is no longer simply a means of getting around, but a digital, automobile companion. The Vision Tokyo takes things another step further: innovative algorithms allow it to evolve constantly; Deep Machine Learning and an intelligent Predictive Engine mean that, with each journey, it becomes more and more familiar with its occupants, their likes and preferences. All of which makes the Vision Tokyo the perfect partner for Generation Z.

The spaciousness of the Vision Tokyo marks a new conceptual approach for Mercedes-Benz Cars. These proportions are emphasised by the monochrome Alubeam paintwork and by side windows screen-printed in the colour of the vehicle. These give the vehicle's occupants privacy, while at the same time allowing sufficient light to penetrate into the interior and an unimpeded view out.
Surfaces and lines illuminated in blue – among them the 26-inch wheels and the side skirts – provide unexpected colour highlights and are indicative of the concept car's emission-free electric drive system. A pointer to the potential for autonomous operation and the comprehensive system of vehicle environment sensors that this requires, including a 360-degree camera, is provided by the fin on the vehicle roof.

Instead of a conventional windscreen, the Vision Tokyo features a continuous stretch of glass panelling – similar to the glazed cockpit of a powerboat. As was the case with the AMG Vision Gran Turismo, the front headlamps are set well to either side and at an angle. The area across the front of the vehicle can be used to display a series of different lighting functions. If music is playing inside the vehicle the display will, for example, visualise a sound pattern, rather like a sound analyser. The rear window is set into a surrounding ring of red LED cubes, which gives it visual depth. Once again, the LED field can be put to good use – as an indicator display or as part of the analyser function.

The dimensions of the Vision Tokyo (length/width/height: 4803/2100/1600 mm) are comparable with those of a mid-series vehicle. Up to five passengers access the interior via the upward-swinging door on the left-hand side – ideal for the right-hand-drive traffic in Japan's megacity. The conventional seating arrangement in rows is thus redundant, while there is also no "front" or "back" here: passengers take their seats instead on a large, oval-shaped couch. This unique lounge-style arrangement allows everyone on board to enjoy the benefits of autonomous driving. For even though the members of "Generation Z" are frequent users of social media, they nevertheless prefer personal contact whenever possible. And it is for this face‑to-face communication that the seat layout has been optimised. As a contemporary-style club lounge, the Vision Tokyo brings people together. With the car in autonomous driving mode they are able to chill and chat, without having to worry about steering a way through the dense traffic.

Behind the passengers are large wraparound LED screens. The perforated seats are back-lit, giving rise to a high-tech ambience that presents an intentional contrast to the soft surface finish of the pale leather. Apps, maps and displays emanating from the entertainment system are presented as three-dimensional holograms within the interior space.

Should there be a requirement for the Vision Tokyo to be controlled manually rather than it driving autonomously, a seat facing in the direction of travel can be released from the centre of the couch at the front, rather like the "jump seat" in an aircraft cockpit. The steering wheel, too, is then moved from its standby position into driving position.

The bodyshell of the Vision Tokyo has been designed to allow the crash-protected integration of a fuel cell-powered electric drive system. This is based on the trailblazing F-CELL PLUG-IN HYBRID of the F 015 Luxury in Motion and combines the on-board generation of electricity with a particularly powerful and compact high-voltage battery that can be charged contactlessly via induction. The use of pressure tanks made from CFRP is envisaged for the storage of hydrogen in the concept car. The electric hybrid system has a total range of 980 kilometres, of which some 190 kilometres are courtesy of battery-powered driving and around 790 kilometres on the electricity produced in the fuel cell.

The Vision Tokyo continues a tradition of visionary design-study showcars that has included the Vision Ener-G-Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013) and G-Code (Beijing, November 2014). Thanks to the global nature of the Mercedes-Benz Design function, these concept vehicles take cues from local trends in design, culture and mobility and make these the focal point of the respective mobility concept. At the same time these showcars are already looking well beyond the next generation of vehicles.

Global Advanced Design – the Mercedes-Benz Design Studios

When it comes to its Advanced Design activities, Mercedes-Benz relies on a global network: designers and modellers in five Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad (USA), Sunnyvale (USA), Como (Italy), Beijing (China) and Sindelfingen (Germany) mull over ideas for the vehicles of tomorrow – and beyond.

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