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20 minutes – We took the robo bus into the future



When night falls in Las Vegas, it becomes difficult to distinguish between reality and fiction. Although happiness at the tables is close enough to touch, Fortuna seldom has honor, and just because you suddenly have the Eiffel Tower in your face, you are far from Paris. Even on the street, you can't believe in his eyes, at least not under CES – the popular consumer electronics show that ended on Friday. Because then it is as if the PS industry had just returned a few years and made the legendary "Strip" catwalk for future technology.

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Stretch limos was yesterday, Urbanet owns the future

This night it is Mercedes Urbanetic, which is the Limits between Desires and reality is blown up and night owls are kidnapped in the future for public transport. Just over three months after the world premiere in Hanover, he electrically increases the six-way casino locations and steals all the many stretch limos as well as the exhibition as well as buses and countless taxis, even in the morning at two steps in the Ceasar's palace or on the Venetians passing by.

And he does not do it alone with his eye-catching design reminiscent of part of Zarah Hadid's architecture. But especially with their technology: who invites Urbanetic with the corresponding app, which will be downloaded in place and no longer rely on the eyes when the doors are opened. Except for some other passengers in this bus, no one else is on board, certainly no driver.

The steering wheel and pedals are in vain, and where the driver has sat so far, a comfortable bench has now been mounted to accommodate three passengers. In addition, there are five staggered seats in the sauna on even more comfortable leather steps opposite and in the middle four standing seats for the passengers, which are only short on board.

The track turns out to be invisible

The journey turns out to be spectacularly invisible this night. Firstly, Urbanet runs so slowly that even the legislature refrains from the buckle, secondly it goes straight to the Strip most of the time, and thirdly, a bus is already used in comparison with an autonomous drive. After all, they also give themselves to a foreign intelligence – whether it is human or artificial.

Although the silver vehicle fits perfectly on the strip, as it attracts attention and draws everyone's attention, as it can be an effective cure for the permanent traffic jam on the boardwalk and since this all night is so much going on as it probably was enough with passengers round the clock for the robo shuttle. But a property of Urbanetic remains on the track. After all, the design part is not just an autonomous minibus, but several vehicles in one.

As soon as the demand for passenger transport decreases, Mercedes rolls for tomorrow at a switching station and can within a few minutes replace the structure.

Piggyback: Rinspeed has done it with snap

Are you familiar? It was right, Zurich's mobility visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht invented it with his Rinspeed Snap. Swabians, like Rinderknecht, have integrated the technology for propulsion and autonomous driving in the flooring group designed as a skateboard. Only a minibus with a futuristic cabin, Urbanetic becomes a box in Rimowa design, which independently distributes packages.

Thus, Mercedes wants to offer its customers more efficiency as they can then use the car 24 hours a day and at the same time the number of vehicles in the streets. In theory, this is a good idea, but in practice it is doomed to fail.

At least in Las Vegas. Because there are so many foot soldiers on the street day and night that the packages would remain forever. But Mercedes not only thinks of Las Vegas, but also in Zurich, Berlin or London – most recently when it is besides the engineers and the authorities so far that the robotic buses can dare to become reality. And not just when the night falls in Las Vegas.


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