Mercedes-Benz creates “invisible car” using LEDs and Canon DSLR


As first reported by Mashable, Mercedes-Benz has created a new commercial to promote a vehicle that uses F-CELL hydrogen technology. Designed to advertise the car’s ability to produce zero emissions and protect the environment, Mercedes-Benz covered the automobile in several mats of LEDs on the driver side of the car and mounted a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR camera on the opposite side of the vehicle. The Canon 5D Mark II shoots video on the passenger side of the car and the video is displayed in real time on the driver side of the automobile. This concept is somewhat similar to the “invisibility coat” designed by a Japanese scientist during 2003 or the iPad 2 Halloween costume that displays a giant, grotesque hole in the human body.

invisible-mercedes-led-lightsWithin the video, the car is being driven around by a Mercedes-Benz representative and shows consumers staring at the car as it is driven throughout Germany. As the car moves along the road, the LED lights periodically fade to black and display a text advertisement. The translation for the advertisement is “Invisible to the environment. F-CELL with 0.0 emissions.” The video also shows off the ability of the LED lights to camouflage the vehicle when parked both in an urban environment and a wooded area.

While Mercedes-Benz claims to be ready to ramp up production on hydrogen-powered automobiles, the cost of production is still extremely high. Engineers developed a low-cost catalyst for hydrogen production during 2010, but the actual cost of the vehicles is cost-prohibitive for the majority of European and American consumers. A Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicle can travel up to 250 miles and utilizes an electric engine equivalent to 134 horsepower. Analysts have predicted that commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars may not arrive until 2015 and the most difficult obstacle to adopting this new technology in the United States will be outfitting fueling stations with the proper equipment.

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