How’s that for a sentence you wouldn’t expect to hear to often considering a key part of that sentence is the word “invisible.” A synonym for the word unseen. To promote their new F-Cell B-Class hatchback, Mercedes-Benz has created an invisible car. Literally. Well at least from a relative distance. Incorporating an idea first seen in the invisible car in the James Bond film “Die Another Day.”
Their point is to illustrate that this car essentially leaves no footprint on the environment, aka it’s invisible. “The fuel cell-powered car carries tanks filled with hydrogen, which when exposed to oxygen generate electricity that’s stored in lithium-ion batteries. The main emission is simple water.”
The invisibility cloak had its tryout this week on the streets of Stuttgart, Germany. To make Q’s idea of an invisible car real, Mercedes employed dozens of technicians and some $263,000 worth of flexible LED mats covering one side of the car. Using a camera mounted on the opposite side of the vehicle, the LEDs were programmed to reproduce the image from the camera at the right scale, blending the vehicle into the background from a few feet away. Doing so required power sources, computers and other gear totaling 1,100 lbs. of equipment inside the B-Class.
Their commercial explains it best:
These B-Class machines are apart of a, “125-day, January-to-June, 18,000-mile global trek to mark the 125th anniversary of Carl Benz’s invention of the automobile.” And at present are available to drive—as in today. Not exactly in mass production or anything because for one thing hydrogen stations to fill up at are hard to come by. But in regards to that, The Linde Group (a global leader in specialty gas production) for example, is working to see change that, and see that filling these cars does become easier. So in the meantime some cars have been distributed to the San Francisco Bay area, and Mercedes-Benz is leasing 200 cars worldwide.
The lease program costs $849 a month, fill-ups included, and anyone interested should apply at http://www.mbusa.com/fcell.