At the 37th Tokyo Motor Show Mercedes-Benz will present its new F 500 research vehicle which provides insights into the automotive technology of tomorrow and beyond.

F500 Mind Forschungsfahrzeug

Packaged as a modern four-door fastback saloon, the F 500 Mind mobile research lab showcases more than a dozen ideas for enhancing safety, drive technology and comfort. The raft of innovations extends all the way from the night vision system with infrared laser headlamps to two-way doors and a programmable multivision display in the cockpit.

Electronic accelerator and brake pedals, an interior pillar which provides structural rigidity and an ultrasound driver information system are further features being tested by Mercedes-Benz in the F 500 Mind. The DaimlerChrysler researchers will be using this pioneering vehicle to conduct the first practical tests of these innovative systems and pave the way for their commercialisation.

With a body length of 5092 millimetres and a wheelbase of 2965 mm, the F 500 Mind offers a significant gain in legroom in the rear compared with a conventional present-day saloon in this class. This was made possible by using innovative-design electronic accelerator and brake pedals, which take up much less space than their conventional equivalents.

The multivision display in the cockpit of the F 500 Mind forms the centrepiece of an innovative instrumentation and control system which offers the driver more flexible information delivery and at the same time reduces fatigue. The dials and displays in the instrument cluster are programmable and their images can be optically superposed or combined with the aid of a semitransparent mirror. An advanced-design voice-operated control system and an ultrasound-based driver information system take convenience even further. The ultrasound technology targets the sound at the driver so that only he or she can hear the information from the navigation system, the traffic news and other sound-based information sources, while the front passenger and rear passengers remain undisturbed.

In the dark or in poor visibility, the innovative night vision system projects its images onto the right-hand display. The night vision system consists of two infrared laser headlights on the front of the vehicle which “illuminate” the road with their invisible light over a range of up to 150 metres, and a camera on the windscreen. This allows the driver to spot hazards much earlier than in a vehicle operating on conventional dipped headlamps. Thus Night Vision offers further opportunities for making night driving safer.

The drive system in the research vehicle is a state-of-the-art diesel hybrid unit with a total power output of 234 kW. In the European driving cycle it uses up to 20 per cent less fuel than a comparable CDI engine.

Source: Daimler AG