Mercedes looks to 2050 with a lounge-like, hydrogen-powered, autonomous van

Mercedes-Benz is making a surprise appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show to introduce a brand new concept car dubbed Vision Tokyo. Designed with the needs of young, tech-savvy Japanese buyers in mind, the Vision Tokyo takes the form of a spacious, lounge-like van that’s both hydrogen-powered and fully autonomous.

The Vision Tokyo stretches to 188 inches long, 82 inches wide, and 63 inches tall, dimensions that make it smaller in all directions than the recently-introduced Metris van. It boasts a cutting-edge design primarily characterized by a gaping digital grille that can be configured to display a wide variety of patterns and colors. Its front end is fitted with thin LED headlights, while the tail lamps are neatly integrated around the rear window. 26-inch alloy wheels and brightly-lit rocker panels add a touch of color to the monochrome Alubeam paint job.

Accessed via a large, top-hinged gullwing door, the cabin offers space for up to five passengers on an oval couch upholstered in white perforated leather. Mercedes chose this setup because it expects that the Vision Tokyo concept will drive itself most of the time, but there’s a jump seat built into the couch should one of the passengers get the sudden urge to take the wheel.

The van’s side windows are screen-printed in the same color as the sheet metal to ensure that the occupants travel in complete privacy. The couch is back-lit to add a touch of elegance to the overall ambiance, and the infotainment system is presented as a series of three-dimensional holograms in the middle of the cabin.

Interestingly, the Vision Tokyo concept can get to know its occupants thanks to an algorithm-based Deep Machine Learning function and a Predictive Engine. Mercedes says the concept was designed to adapt to its occupants’ likes and preferences, but precisely what that entails is anyone’s guess at this point.

The Vision Tokyo concept is equipped with a compact, hydrogen-powered electric drivetrain similar to the one used by the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept that was shown earlier this year at the CES show. The van boasts a total driving range of 608 miles, 120 of which can be driven on electricity alone.

It goes without saying that the Vision Tokyo concept isn’t about to join the Mercedes-Benz lineup as-is. However, its design might influence the company’s next generation of vans, and the self-driving tech will make the jump from concept to production when the all-new 2017 E-Class is introduced early next year at the Detroit Motor Show.


Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.