After all, Sony wasn't the only company to surprise us with a car at CES 2020. Mercedes-Benz has broken limits to provide us with a concept car - 'The AVTR'. It boasts a design inspired by the fictional universe where director James Cameron's Avatar film is set (blue humanoid creatures), to show a new way how the car and nature interact. Coming to the design of the car. It is totally outlandish-to sum up all the design elements. It is everything a concept car needs to look like to get all those "Awws and WHOAS!". AVTR is not only a name to refer to the movie Avatar but it also means ADVANCED VEHICLE TRANSFORMATION.
James Cameron was on stage talking about the Mercedes AVTR and how its carbon neutral and how he is towards a sustainable future, also with the sequel to his first film rolling out soon it was a great way to catch some eyes and do some clever marketing. The rear of the car has 33 individual hatches "bionic flaps" embedded into the back of the vehicle which resemble the scales of a reptile and is to be used to communicate with the outside world and with the driver.
You are actually 1:1 with the car, it's like a symbiotic relationship between the machine (car) and the environment (eg-humans). There is no steering wheel but a biometric system which merges with the driver and you drive by the placing your hand on the centre console, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognises the driver by his breathing. Also, the infotainment system is projected onto your hand! The AVTR thus establishes a biometric connection with the driver and increases his awareness of the environment. How cool is that! Does the car drive normally though? Oh no, the AVTR's front and rear axles can be driven in the same or opposite direction. This enables the car to perform a crab-like movement and move sideways by 30 degrees (approx.)
At the keynote Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gordon Wagener quoted, "We created a futuristic vehicle that had to authentically look like it came out of this amazing sustainable (Avatar) world. He also said, "It is a vehicle that is able to enhance the capabilities of your own body – like the idea of an Avatar in the movie." So Mercedes has achieved what it was wanting to achieve according to Mr. Gordon.
In an effort to create a sustainable car, the battery technology is based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry and thus completely eliminates rare, toxic and expensive earths such as metals. Vegan materials are used throughout the cabin to continue the theme of the car while keeping luxury at its highest. The AVTR has a combined engine power of more than 350 kW and sets a new benchmark for EQ Power without any emissions!
At first, I was going to rant at Mercedes for going over the board with the design. But then I realised that the very purpose of a concept car is to go haywire on everything from the design to the tech because that car is to never hit production, not in the near future. Ideas are taken from the concept car to form a future product for the company 10-15 years later! A concept car is created to present the engineering skills of a company to the general public. Also, the AVTR was created to represent a symbiotic relationship between the living and non-living and to some extent advertise the upcoming movie. Hence, I stopped to gaze at this beauty and admire the wonders of tech.
What are your thoughts on this wonderful concept car? Let me know in the comments below.