Mercedes Benz At The Tokyo Motor Show - The F 500 Research Vehicle

F 500 Mind
New research vehicle F 500 points the way for the automotive technology of the future

Stuttgart – 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. 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.

A fascinating synthesis born of legend and innovation, the new SLR McLaren high-performance sports car will celebrate its Asian region debut in Tokyo. The modern-day incarnation of the legendary SLR racing sports cars from the Fifties features a supercharged V8 engine developing 460 kW/626 hp which propels the two-seater to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Like the Formula 1 vehicles, the SLR's body is built from carbon-fibre composites. Further highlights of the Mercedes presentation at this year's Tokyo Motor Show include the new CL 65 AMG, whose 450 kW/612 hp V12 bi-turbo powerplant produces a maximum torque of 1000 Nm, and the new 4MATIC E-Class models in which permanent all-wheel drive interacts with the Electronic Stability Program to provide exceptional active safety and traction.

F 500 research vehicle: a rendezvous with the future

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 multi-vision 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 semi-transparent 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.

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Published : 22/10/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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