Like the kid who can’t wait until next Christmas, Mercedes-Benz has emailed an image of the autonomous vehicle it will unveil on January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
How much of that was intentional and how much was a late-night, party-induced game of, “Dude, you should totally,” we don’t know.
What we do know is that even the silhouette of this self-driving car looks lightyears better than Google’s offering this year. While Google opted for the “My mom says I can design” approach, Mercedes-Benz went with, “I worked with Tesla last year.”
Speaking of Tesla, Mercedes-Benz is investing in electric technologies that will gun for Tesla’s spot of fancy-pants chic. A report from Automobile Magazine says that the three-point star company is making an all-electric seven-seat SUV to pre-empt Tesla’s Model X, an all-electric SUV that hasn’t been built yet.
Following that will come an electric sedan, and then plug-in hybrid versions of both. We don’t want to sound sore, but it sounds like Tesla’s help with our B-Class wasn’t quite as good as we hoped it would be. Jay-Z isn’t laying beats about his murdered-out B-Class, is he? Nope, not even a little.
Instead, Mercedes-Benz will work with electronics-maker LG to develop next-generation camera systems for vehicles. LG has been working on what it calls Advanced Drive Assistance Systems, which use cameras to let the car do some of the driving. It’s kind of like watching a newborn use its eyes for the first time.
You can expect some of this technology to be in the “mystery” car that Mercedes-Benz will show at CES next week.
In short, if this were a dance hall, Mercedes-Benz would be changing partners faster than John Stamos. Tesla’s in the corner, LG’s all excited, and Google’s wearing a bow-tie by the punch bowl, talking about Pokémon.