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Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR

By Phil Huff | February 24, 2020

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James Cameron has a lot to answer for. Yes, the movie director James Cameron, as it’s his Avatar film that has provided the inspiration for Mercedes’ latest concept car, the Vision AVTR.

While Avatar is famous for strangely tall blue aliens and an Army Colonel who can defy physics, Mercedes has taken inspiration from Pandora, the world inhabited by the distinctive creatures.  

Looking how humans, machines and nature interact and coexist on Pandora, the Vision AVTR shows a distinctive inside-out structure that merges the two sides into one, apparently emotional, whole. A stretched ‘one bow’ organic design takes its lead from several creatures from the movie.

At the rear of the car, you’ll find 33 ‘bionic flaps’ reminiscent of the scales of reptiles. These can be used to communicate with the driver, or through the driver to the outside world through naturally flowing movements. The Vision AVTR is, honestly, Mercedes’ outlook on the distant future of mobility.

Instead of a conventional steering wheel, Mercedes has fitted the Vision AVTR with a ‘multifunctional control element’ in the centre console that allows human and machine to merge.

Rather than relying on anything as mundane as a key, or even secure Bluetooth connectivity, the Vision AVTR instead comes to life by recognising the driver by their heartbeat and breathing. Chest infections will be a thing of the past, clearly.

Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR Image

Lifting a hand, a menu is projected onto the palm through which the passenger can choose between different functionalities, including exploring the world of Pandora from different perspectives in rich real-time 3D graphics. A curved display runs the width of the car, visually linking the interior to the outside world.

Power will, of course, be provided by future battery technology. Scientists and engineers are currently working on graphene-based organic cell chemistry, and it’s this technology that Mercedes feels will power the Vision AVTR. Completely free of rare earths and metals, the batteries would be compostable and entirely recyclable, ensuring that future motoring becomes independent of fossil fuel resources. Mercedes says the Vision AVTR produces 470hp with an estimated range of 435 miles.

Driving both the front and rear axles independently, it’s possible to run them in opposite directions and therefore move sideways by approximately 30 degrees. This crab movement gives the concept vehicle an animal-like appearance even when manoeuvring.

A theme of sustainability continues inside, with seats covered in vegan Dinamica leather; this is the first, and currently only, microfibre that guarantees environmental sustainability throughout the entire production cycle. The floor is created using an innovative wood called Karuun. Made from rattan, the raw material for Karuun grows quickly and is harvested by hand in Indonesia.

Revealed at the CES show in Las Vegas, we’re sure you’ll be able to see the Vision AVTR in next year’s Avatar movie, which sees the return of the Na'vi on Pandora undoubtedly battling a planet-threatening foe with the help of Vin Diesel.

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