Mercedes Reveals Self-Driving, Body-Swapping Van of the Future

More than meets the eye.
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Mercedes has created a freaky new concept van and we're not sure if it's undeniably awesome or disturbingly weird. So while we're figuring that out, might as well take a look at this thing.

It's called the VISION Urbanetics. It may never be commercially available, but it seems like the rare concept that points directly to the future of both commercial and consumer transportation.

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The big thing? Interchangeable chassis. The Urbanetics chassis rests on an electric base, which can functions like a giant, self-driving hoverboard. 

That's what we mean when referencing commercial and consumer uses. This thing can also easily function as a cargo carrier. A kind of traveling box. It looks like a giant toaster, really.

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So if you owned one of these babies you could haul furniture or garbage or bodies by day then switch it up and head out with the family at night. (Don't haul bodies.)

It's electric and has autonomous capacity, which appears intended for the cargo function, considering that toasters rarely have windshields.

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The VISION Urbanetics is intended to carry up to 12 people—meaning serious potential as the most versatile party van, ever. Mercedes envisions the vehicle with huge screens that can notify pedestrians that it won't necessarily run them down as they cross the street.

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It's clear that Mercedes-Benz has a vision of this versatile vehicle potentially de-cluttering the roadways. It can run day and night, and has minimal need for a driver at the wheel. 

Jokes about the appearance aside, there's something encouraging about this look at the (possibly near) future. Hopefully more manufacturers will consider following the company's direction. 

A solution to the major traffic tie-ups that plague every major city would save a lot of lives just by preventing anger-induced strokes alone.