Last Friday I was invited by Mercedes-Benz to their TecDay Innovations event In Stuttgart, Germany. It was a day packed with design, technology and innovations, I felt like a kid in a candy store. On one hand I could say that there was way to much to discover but on the other hand I couldn’t get enough of it. So here’re 4 highlights.
The Mercedes-Benz short-distance vehicle (NAFA). This study from 1982 was an urban and short-distance concept car. It had four-wheel steering, automatic transmission and air conditioning. You might recognize that it was the starting point for the A-Class and the smart.
I didn’t ask about the brake button, it seems a little odd no?
I also had the chance to visit the Customer Research Center. Work at the CRC focuses on three main areas: the identification of customer requirements, the generation of ideas at our Innovation Studio, and the evaluation of customer acceptance. I participated in short version of their innovation workshops. The theme was about experiencing comfort in 2020. We used a brainstomp, not brainstorm, as the creative technique to start the process. The result of my team was quite good I must say.
This is the control panel for 16 features which Mercedes-Benz tested with some customers in 2003, 4 of them are now available in some of their models.
The next stop was a visit to the Driving Simulation Center. We had the chance to try out 5 different simulators including this huge one below. There’s a car inside the dome and when you combine that with 360° projections and some hydraulics, you’ll get a pretty good real life experience.
The digital landscapes around Stuttgart.
Last but not least was a short ride along in the F 800 Style, Mercedes-Benz’s current research vehicle. The car isn’t just packed with the latest technology, it does look very nice too. Also the interior doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before. It was quite strange to know that I was riding along in car that was handmade and one of a kind.