LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Mercedes-Benz debuted the future of its autonomous vehicles with the unveiling of its F 015 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA.Billed as "Luxury in Motion", the F 015 joins Mercedes’ expanding range of autonomous vehicles including the S 500 Intelligent Drive and Future Truck 2025.With its new F 015 self-driving luxury sedan, the automaker hopes to illustrate how the car, Mercedes says, "is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a private retreating space. "EMISSIONS-FREE DRIVINGThe F 015 is 5.2m long, two metres wide, 1.5m tall and has a 3.6m wheelbase.The rear-wheel drive F 015 is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell feeding two rear-mounted electric motors capable of delivering 202kW and acceleration from 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds on to a restricted top speed of 200km/h. Fuel consumption is rated at two-litres/100km with a claimed driving range of morre than 1000km, emitting only water vapour.IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Mercedes-Benz F 015The self-driving car has large LEDs which shine blue if the F 015 is driving autonomously and white when controlled by a human.FACE-TO-FACE SEATINGMercedes’ designers created a “lounge-like space”, characterised by luxury trimmings such as wood finishes, soft-touch leather as well as metallic and glass surfaces instead of a conventional cabin. Among its main feature are the variable seating system with four rotatable lounge chairs that allow face-to-face configuration.The powered seats also swing outwards by 30 degrees when the doors are opened.Audi does LA to Vegas in autonomous A7The driver and front passenger can turn towards the front, a prerequisite for manual driving. In this configuration the steering wheel extends automatically from the facia.The leather-covered cushions of the lounge chairs are set in curved mounts of polished aluminium. Each mount has a contrasting band of blue LEDs and can also be manually swiveled. SMART SCREENSThe car has six screens integrated into the instrument, rear and side panels. Passengers can interact with the displays through gestures, eye-tracking or by touching the high-resolution screens. According to Mercedes-Benz: “Sensors recognise the passengers' hands and offer them user interfaces within convenient reach that present appropriate operating options for each particular situation. Particle streams on the displays visualise the vehicle's movement.”New materials and structures were used to develop the F 015’s 'Smart Body Structure'. Using carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, aluminum and high-strength steel, its shell is a claimed 40% lighter than rival production vehicles. BODYWORK ‘AIR BAGS’It also has rear-hinged rear doors, the front and rear of which can be opened and closed independently. With an opening angle of 90 degrees for each door, the interior can be easily accessed - B pillars are redundant. The doors also play a role in the vehicle's passive pre-safe safety concept, previously unveiled on the ESF 2009 Experimental Safety Vehicle though since improved. During a side-on collision, bodywork elements "inflate" like an airbag, absorbing impact energy.SELF-DRIVING CARS A REALITYAs self-driving cars become more common, major changes will need to be made by automakers to accommodate a new market.Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Daimler AG board and head of Mercedes-Benz, said: "Anybody who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society. The car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a mobile living space."