LAS VEGAS (CIRCA) — With the worldwide popularity of ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft, car makers are looking to the future of how we get around. And at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the future looks a lot like a luxurious alien egg.
Dubbed the “Urbanetic,” this concept vehicle from Mercedes-Benz represents a shared vision of urban transportation among tech innovators at CES: autonomous shuttles.
“We have a very progressive approach with autonomous vehicles, with our driver interface," said Mercedes-Benz prototype manager Thomas Moser. "We don't have a driver place at all. No steering wheel, no pedals."
Utilizing a modular design, which Moser calls the "skateboard," this concept would serve both the rideshare markets as well as the corporate transport functions many Mercedes vehicles are used for today.
"It's not just for ride pooling," Moser added. "We were able to put all the technical components which are necessary for autonomous driving like electric drive, the batteries, the sensors, everything in the bottom."
Engineering and electronics company Bosch also shared its concept for urban rideshare, the Bosch Shuttle, which would perform a similar function as the Mercedes Urbanetic for cities in the near future along with many other designs that point to a near future of driveless ridesharing,
Though the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic is just a prototype, it is fully operational and could be seen driving itself down the Las Vegas strip at CES 2019.