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Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic: An Autonomous Van Concept

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic: An Autonomous Van Concept

An All-Electric Autonomous Van

As life moves into the future, brands such as Mercedes-Benz are attempting to shape the way for humanity. Recently, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic was shown to the public. The Urbanetic is an autonomous van concept that runs on battery-electric. The purpose of this vehicle is to help reduce congestion via a 24/7 runtime for passenger hauling services. With the Urbanetic, Mercedes aims to contribute to a whole new segment of mobility. This includes a capacious, comfortable, efficient, and sustainable design. But, this car, truly begins its prowess from its battery-electric platform.

Battery-Electric Platform Design

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic - People-Mover Setup - Hauling Riders on Bridge - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic – People-Mover Setup – Hauling Riders on Bridge – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic begins with its battery-electric platform. This system is the way of the future and provides green commuting accessibility. With a battery system, the car can run on a regular schedule, simply charging every time it is necessary. As battery-operated vehicles become more popular, the battery charging time has dissipated. Recently, the all-electric Audi PB18 e-tron made its debut as a sports car to charge in 15 minutes flat via 800-volts. Obviously, quick charging will be necessary to make this van concept worthy of transportation purposes. But, even furthermore, is the fact this car can alternate between cargo and people-moving within minutes.

Cargo-Van Body Functionality

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic - Cargo-Van Setup - Front Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic – Cargo-Van Setup – Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

With the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic, the functionality can be altered for multiple purposes. This begins with a cargo-van functionality option. The rear of the van can provide 353 cubic feet of space. This allows for 10 pallets at once, obviously wit the help of 12-feet of load space. So, this van can handle traditional cargo transport as well as last-minute deliveries. But, this isn’t the only way the space can be allocated for usage. Not surprisingly, this car also features a people-moving function as well.

From Cargo-Van to People-Mover

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic - People-Mover Setup - Front Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic – People-Mover Setup – Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic not only allows for cargo usage, but also people transport. With the large allotment of space in the rear, this vehicle can handle up to 12 people. Furthermore, this car keeps in mind the pedestrians outside of the vehicle. On the front and sides, this car lets civilians know that the vehicle is aware of their presence. This allows bystanders to feel comfortable crossing in front of the vehicle at an intersection. So, while keeping passengers comfy, it is also keeping pedestrians safe. It won’t be surprising in the future when services such as “Uber Pool” end up providing a Urbanetic-style van to transport people at cheap rates.

Autonomy & Electric are the Future

Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC: Mobility for Urban Areas – Mercedes-Benz – YouTube

As the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic shows, autonomy and electric motors are the future. From the Audi PB18 e-tron to the Vision Urbanetic, manufacturers are moving forward to the next stage of auto engineering. Initially, Tesla led the way for worldwide companies, but now everyone is joining in on the action. What was once a quiet, unsure market, is now the way for all. The sound of the motor may be missed, but will still be available, as gasoline cars will most likely never be fully outlawed. Regardless, transportation will become efficient and reasonable moving forward. One day, these type of vehicles will rotate major cities, running passengers to destinations far and wide.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic - Different Setup Options - Front Corners - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic – Different Setup Options – Front Corners – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Who Invented the Traffic Cone?

Who Invented the Traffic Cone?

Simple Design Increases Traffic Safety

In the early 1940s, Charles D. Scanlon invented the traffic cone that is known worldwide today. He was a painter for the Street Painting Dept. in Los Angeles when the idea arose. This idea probably came about due to the lack of safety while painting in the street. Surely, many accidents happened prior to this invention. Surprisingly, the first traffic cones were actually used in the UK in 1958 for the M6 motorway.

Now, traffic cones are widely used by companies and people worldwide. But, the actual patent for the traffic cone was approved in 1943. So, it took nearly 15 years before the UK willingly put the cones to use on the M6. This year, it’s been almost 60 years of traffic cone safety! And, to make it even better, cars are safer than ever! This is due to the newest tech in the auto industry such as fully autonomous EVs.

Traffic Cones Widely Used for Traffic Management

In modern times, the traffic cone is widely used for traffic management. By placing cones on the road, cars become aware of the upcoming hazards or dangers. Furthermore, cones redirect traffic around construction zones and other obstacles. Sometimes, traffic cones are in use in neighborhoods to warn of children at play. So, if a cone is in the street, always be sure to figure the situation and drive accordingly. Usually, a cone signals that the driver should use extreme caution ahead.

Not surprisingly, nowadays, the US Federal Highway Administration requires traffic cones while working on roadways. This is clearly written in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

The Traffic Cone Defines Safety on the Roadway

Road Cone Placing Machine Is Safer And More Efficient – Tech Insider – YouTube

Overall, the traffic cone defines safety on the roadway in the roadwork industry. From rerouting traffic to preventing accidents, traffic cones are an amazing invention. Sometimes, it’s important to take a look at the little things – the ones taken for granted. The traffic cone is a perfect example of one of these items. Without it, who knows how many people would’ve died working on roadways? Charles D. Scanlon’s idea has probably saved many lives since it came to be in existence. And, now with autonomous vehicles, safety shall only get better! In conclusion, let’s tip a hat to Mr. Scanlon on his highly protective invention.

Audi AI:ME – An Autono-Pod Concept Vehicle

Audi AI:ME – An Autono-Pod Concept Vehicle

A Fully Autonomous EV Concept by Audi

As with the recent trend, Audi is continuing its path towards the fully autonomous EV future of the auto industry. For the current ongoing Shanghai Auto Show, the Audi AI:ME made its debut to the public. Specifically, this car is targeting “megacities” where large populations live in vast cities with high traffic. Being fully autonomous, electric, and customizable, this car is pretty cool. But, no one will technically own one of these cars. The goal for Audi is to market these vehicles as shareable and short-term rentable. In reality, not only will less vehicles on the road benefit city traffic, it’d probably keep a lot more money in people’s pockets. Parking garages in major cities in the U.S. can easily charge a few hundred dollars to park monthly.

Audi AI:ME - Side - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Audi AI:ME – Side – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

168-Horsepower Electric Motor with 65 kWh Battery

Audi AI:ME - Dashboard - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Audi AI:ME – Dashboard – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Audi AI:ME will sport a 168-horsepower electric motor. This will work in conjunction with a 65-kWh battery. Not surprisingly, this is the same as the Volkswagen I.D. that will be releasing as well. And, to the disappointment of possibly many, this car is built to travel between 12 and 47 mph. Yep… that was read correctly. This is because most major cities are so dense with traffic, that these speeds aren’t far off anyway. Heading on a road trip won’t be optimal in this car but getting around a “megacity” shouldn’t be a problem.

Why not kick up your feet and take a ride? It sounds a lot better than sitting in the driver seat doing absolutely nothing anyway but waiting. Most people in busy areas know how it is… gas, pedal, gas, pedal, gas, PEDAL! Why’d that guy slam the brakes! Jeez!

Audi AI:ME - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Audi AI:ME – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Commuting in a Relaxing Environment

Audi AI:ME – could this car spawn an all-new A2 EV? – carwow – YouTube

As with most fully autonomous vehicles, the steering wheel and pedals aren’t necessary to get around. So, to no surprise, the Audi AI:ME’s steering wheel and pedals retract away for additional space. To top it off, a picnic type table pops out for use during the journey. Depending on the passengers preferences, the lighting and seat config can be altered for max comfort. This includes power retraction of the rear seats. Furthermore, this car has active dampers for a comfortable ride.

As per the final notable attribute, this car has a body of aluminum, plastic, and steel. Yes, plastic! As long as its safe, this car will be awesome for the city people.

Audi AI:ME - Rear Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Audi AI:ME – Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept: Targeting the Tesla Model X

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept: Targeting the Tesla Model X

The European Market Targets Tesla

Throughout the years, many manufacturers thought Tesla wouldn’t catch on – but they were wrong! Now, Tesla is a powerful automotive company. But, the times have changed and other manufacturers are going electric. This now includes Volkswagen. Recently, VW revealed a new concept vehicle that is targeting the Tesla Model X. The Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept is a full-size crossover EV that is fully autonomous. Currently, VW expects to sell this vehicle in the Chinese auto market in 2021. Hopefully, the car will have a cooler name than it does now.

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept - Side with Doors Open - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept – Side with Doors Open – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

What? AppleSkin Interior? Is That a Joke? Nope!

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

One of the most unique features of the Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept is the apple skin interior. Yes, you read that correctly. The ID Roomzz has upholstery made from apple waste that is produced during the apple juice making process. All of the lounge style seats within the vehicle wear VW‘s new AppleSkin material. To complement this material, the seats can rotate up to 25 degrees and fully recline for relaxation. Obviously, this is a mandatory feature in autonomous vehicles. While driving a vehicle manually is an amazing experience, imagine kicking up your feet in rush hour traffic while watch some TV or a movie. Sounds good!

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept - Reclining Rear Seating - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept – Reclining Rear Seating – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

VW is Pushing Hard for an EV Future

Volkswagen Press Conference at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show – The Wheel Network – YouTube

During the most recent reveal, VW made it clear that their vehicles will follow the EV future. Obviously, as seen in this article, is the Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept. But, prior to that, VW will release an all-electric ID hatchback and a compact crossover in 2020. And, after that, there will be a dune buggy, EV sedan, and the microbus. So, that is proof that VW sees electrical powertrains as the future.

Although, as with all vehicles, mileage is a concern. The ID Roomzz expects a range of 280 miles. While this is almost equivalent to a full tank of gas, vehicles will begin to surpass 300+ miles in the near future. By that, within the next few years. So, VW should aim for a slightly higher mileage, or at least make that motion on future models. Overall, the ID Roomzz is a pretty cool concept vehicle.

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept - Rear - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Volkswagen ID Roomzz Concept – Rear – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Avoids Bankruptcy Thanks to BMW According to CEO

Rolls-Royce Avoids Bankruptcy Thanks to BMW According to CEO

BMW Keeps Rolls-Royce Afloat in Auto Industry

According to the Rolls-Royce CEO, Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, Rolls-Royce avoided bankruptcy thanks to BMW. Back in 2003, BMW bought Rolls-Royce and kept it as a subsidiary. Without BMW, there’s a chance Rolls-Royce wouldn’t exist today. The CEO believes the company would’ve gone out of business, probably during the last decade. Whether this is 100% true, there’s no way to tell. Time travel would be necessary to see the outcome if BMW didn’t buy the company. Check out what the CEO said to GoAuto Australia:

”I’m glad to be a part of the BMW Group, and I would even say that Rolls-Royce would be dead without the BMW Group – we would never exist anymore.” – Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, CEO of Rolls-Royce

Even Today, Rolls-Royce Needs BMW

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Even today, Mueller-Oetvoes believes Rolls-Royce needs BMW. Otherwise, the company would dwindle and cease to exist. This is in partial to the current grind forward to the new technology of the next era. More precisely, EVs and modern auto tech.

“This brand, I mean, these small little precious brands, would all die if they don’t have an OEM who invests early enough into long-term, very expensive technology, be it electric driving, be it autonomous, be it that you comply with all legal regulations worldwide.” – Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, CEO of Rolls-Royce

“In the meantime, we are facing as a manufacturer so many different legal requirements, regulations, that it’s extremely costly to develop cars and this starts even with the MMI system in a car which is basically the whole brain and electronics in the car that is super-expensive and without having somebody in the back who is able to provide that in a very refined, proper way. No, no chance.” – Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, CEO of Rolls-Royce

Obviously, Torsten feels strongly about the fate of Rolls without BMW.

Rolls-Royce is an Autonomous “Follower”

ROLLS ROYCE – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed – Donut Media – YouTube

According to Mueller-Oetvoes, Rolls-Royce is an autonomous “follower”. The company itself is not actively pursuing autonomous driving, but people can ensure BMW is doing so. Autonomous electric vehicles are the way of the future, and BMW is one of the companies attempting to be at the top of the curve.

”I would call ourselves, when it comes to autonomous driving, followers. And the reason for being a follower is that we would only bring technology into our products when the technology is at a level that customers would tell us, ‘That’s great, that’s effortless, it really helps me, it’s truly autonomous.’” – Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes, CEO of Rolls-Royce

Imagine the world without Rolls-Royce luxury. Without champagne refrigerators and curtain windows. It’s…it’s not possible! Overall, Rolls-Royce is an amazing car manufacturer and deserves to stay afloat in the industry.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan - Rear Seating - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

Rolls-Royce Cullinan – Rear Seating – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van: Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van: Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary

A VW Van Dedicated to Woodstock

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 "Light" Van - Front Corner Overhead - Volkswagen of America - EuroDrift

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van – Front Corner Overhead – Volkswagen of America – EuroDrift

Recently, artist Dr. Bob Hieronimus debuted a unique tribute for Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. This tribute is a 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” van. The Type 2 was recently shown at the Orange County Transporter Organization Winter Meet on Saturday, February 16. The event was held at the Long Beach Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in California. Thankfully, through the help of supporters, Dr. Bob’s dream becomes a reality. Through $90,205 via Kickstarter and support from VW, this bus exists today! Now, the van is alive, well, and ready for a cross country adventure to Woodstock.

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 "Light" Van - Passenger Side - Volkswagen of America - EuroDrift

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van – Passenger Side – Volkswagen of America – EuroDrift

Time to Learn About Woodstock!

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 "Light" Van - Driver's Side - Volkswagen of America - EuroDrift

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van – Driver’s Side – Volkswagen of America – EuroDrift

In the summer of 1969, the well-known Woodstock Music Festival began on a farm in Bethel, New York. In attendance, half a million people wait for the show! This three-day music festival still lives on today, although not exactly the same. In the 1960s time period, Woodstock stands with the counterculture movement. For those that don’t know, this event did have its negatives. There were last minute changes to the venue, poor weather conditions, and hordes of people. But, everyone had a good time anyway… most people know why. Now, for a final bit – this is the event has a major connection with the 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” van.

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 "Light" Van - Interior - Volkswagen of America - EuroDrift

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van – Interior – Volkswagen of America – EuroDrift

Cross-Country Trip to Woodstock

1963 VW Standard Microbus aka Light Bus Created For Woodstock – DPCcars – YouTube

In the summer of 2019, the 50th anniversary of Woodstock takes place. For this event, the 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” van intends to attend. Starting in California, the van has a schedule to see its way cross-country. Being quite a journey, this van will see more than many people do in their entire lives. But, unfortunately for it, it won’t remember any of it… maybe just a few rock chips. Especially with all of those trucks on the road. Either way, Dr. Bob’s dream van is quite unique and definitely a Woodstock masterpiece.

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 "Light" Van - Rear Corner - Volkswagen of America - EuroDrift

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 “Light” Van – Rear Corner – Volkswagen of America – EuroDrift

Do you like vans? Check out this article of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic! It is an autonomous van concept!

Mercedes-Benz to Unveil Next-Gen CLA at CES 2019

Mercedes-Benz to Unveil Next-Gen CLA at CES 2019

A New Generation for the CLA

With the fresh upcoming year of 2019, manufacturers will introduce technology that’ll be the anticipation of the next decade. At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mercedes-Benz plants to unveil the next-gen CLA. Not surprisingly, a few other vehicles will be on display at the Benz CES booth, all new to the United States. Mercedes intends to showcase the most technologically advanced automobiles it has ready to unveil. With the date approaching, Mercedes shared a teaser as seen at the top of the article. This is the roofline of the new CLA. The car should look like an a-class with a 4-door, coupe roof style setup.

Hopes for the Next-Gen CLA

With the next-gen CLA, the first hope is for better rear headroom. Previously, this car was known for rear headroom issues. Furthermore, this car will sport the MBUX infotainment system. This provides the driver with AI-powered assistance. This includes language commands as well as “identifies operation requests on basis of movements”. This statement seems to mean that the driver will be able to use hand or body motion to control the vehicle. This is not new, as BMW seems to be onto the same project.

The CLA Won’t Be Alone!

Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) World Premiere | CES 2018 – Mercedes-Benz – YouTube

With the next-gen CLA, Mercedes plans to display the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV. On top of that, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic Concept will be there too. The EQC electric SUV aims to offer customers with 402 horsepower and 564 lb.-ft. of torque. Furthermore, the electric batteries shall allow it to drive for around 280 miles before requiring recharge. It won’t be surprising if Benz begins to offer hybrid versions of typical cars, including the CLA. With the upcoming decade of 2020 to 2030, manufacturers will probably make the shift to hybrids and EVs. In conclusion, anyone in attendance at CES 2019 should be looking for the Mercedes booth!

Porsche Aims to Increase Taycan Production Due to Demand

Porsche Aims to Increase Taycan Production Due to Demand

High Demand for the Taycan

Due to strong demand, Porsche plans to increase Taycan production beyond 20,000 units per year. The Porsche Taycan is an all-electric vehicle, previously known as Mission E, that is taking the market by storm. Porsche received so many early reservations on the Taycan, that it is building a facility specifically for it. In Zuffenhausen, Germany, Porsche will build the Taycan at its own facility. Furthermore, this facility even includes an assembly line and paint shop. That means that the manufacturer has very high hopes for this model. With production beginning mid-2019, Porsche is getting ready to surge the auto market.

Basics About Porsche Taycan

Porsche Mission E - Side with Open Doors - IAA 2015 - Wikimedia - EuroDrift

Porsche Mission E – Side with Open Doors – IAA 2015 – Wikimedia – EuroDrift

Under the hood, the Porsche Taycan does not have a typical Porsche V6 or V8. But, this car does sport two permanently excited synchronous motors. These work in combo to produce over 600 horsepower. This power level will allow the Taycan to reach 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds. Furthermore, Porsche expects the Taycan to hit 124 mph in 12 seconds. Finally, with a 800 volt battery, the car can charge for 250 miles in around 15 minutes.

The Future of Porsche is Coming

Adam Levine drives the Mission E at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles – Porsche – YouTube

Overall, Porsche seems to be opening up more and more to electric vehicles. With the Porsche Taycan, the company will “dip its toes” into the electric auto market. This will surely shape the future of the company moving into the electric rush of the 2020s. Other companies are already working towards major releases such as the Audi E-Tron GT, the BMW iNext Vision, and the Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic. Currently, the Taycan will be split between the Cross Turismo and sedan variants with a Targa version possible in the future. Surprisingly, the largest demand for this car was in Norway with 3,000 paid down payment orders. Usually, Porsche only sells 600 total cars in this country. In conclusion, the Porsche Taycan is sure to stir up the electric auto market, including Tesla.

Porsche Mission E - Rear Corner - IAA 2015 - Wikimedia - EuroDrift

Porsche Mission E – Rear Corner – IAA 2015 – Wikimedia – EuroDrift

Bugatti Considers Entering the Sedan Market

Bugatti Considers Entering the Sedan Market

Venturing into New Terrain

The new Bugatti CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, has stated that the company is considering a second model to sell alongside the popular Chiron. Bugatti has considered entering the Sedan Market but tends to favor the SUV body style instead.

“It’s clear that if we do something different from a super-sports car like the Chiron, then it would not be enough just to be in love with one type of car…We would look at every body style and regional demand and not put our money into something that is fading”. 


Stephan Winkelmann, Bugatti CEO

His reference to “something that is fading” was towards the saloon, or sedan as they are known in non-European markets. Apparently, there has been a decline in sedan sales in the European market, while SUVs have seen an increased demand.

It’s true that prior to the arrival of their new CEO, the company worked on the idea of a four-door sedan using the Galibier name. However, indications are that the market would better support an SUV body style.

Breaking into the SUV Market

Lamborghini Urus - Front Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift
Lamborghini Urus – Front Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Winkelmann has experience in the SUV market. He was part of the conception of the Lamborghini Urus SUV which has been launched.

Bugatti is not the only car manufacturer whose looking at the possibility of a new SUV. Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley also want a piece of the action. Ferrari project, known as Purosange, will feature plug-in hybrid technology and be the fastest vehicle of its type. This could make competition for a Bugatti SUV even stiffer.

Timeline for the Next Bugatti Model

2016 Bugatti Royale INTERIOR 5-door Fastback Bugatti Veyron? Bugatti Sedan Commercial CARJAM TV HD – YouTube

Whether sedan or SUV, it does look as if the new Bugatti model is not the only project for the Volkswagen Group. It may have to take a backseat to their electric vehicle and autonomous technology development. However, with the current popularity of the Chiron, their priorities could change.

By the way, LEGO built an awesome Chiron model, check it out here!

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