Mercedes-Benz has released a new concept car inspired by James Cameron’s groundbreaking Avatar franchise. The design of the VISION AVTR draws on some of the creatures from the film in an effort to bridge the gap between the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
The vehicle’s user interface is particularly important in that regard. Just as the characters in the film were able to form a bond with the creatures of the planet Pandora, the VISION AVTR allows drivers to form a biometric connection with the vehicle itself. The car replaces a conventional steering wheel with a control unit embedded in the central console that can identify drivers based on their breath and heartbeat when a hand is placed on the console.
After that, the car will project a menu directly onto the driver’s hand as they start to raise it. The driver can use that menu to navigate through various features.
The AVTR is also supposed to be more eco friendly, which is once again in keeping with the themes from Avatar. Most notably, the car boasts a graphene-based organic battery that was made with compostable materials (and without any rare earths and metals). The battery is fully recyclable, and is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the car industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.
The interior of the vehicle utilizes similarly sustainable materials. The seats are made with vegan DINAMICA leather, while the floor is made with fast-growing Karuun wood. The car also has the ability to sidle sideways at a 30-degreee angle due to the fact that the front and rear axles can move in the same or opposite directions.
Though it seems unlikely that the AVTR will reach the market in its current, heavily-branded form, it does speak to Mercedes’ innovative approach to motor vehicles. The company brought an AR exhibit featuring Sloane Stephens to the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament earlier this year, and recently reaffirmed its smart car relationship with Cerence in the wake of the latter’s split with Nuance Communications.