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by Tim Beissmann

Daimler has provided a glimpse into its vision for the future of transportation, revealing new concepts that expand the role of cars beyond driving.

Developed under the slogan ‘Future needs Utopia’, Daimler – the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and Smart – worked with a team of architecture, construction, design and philosophy experts with a special focus on innovation and the future to devise the concepts that make cars an integral part of future societies.

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The first concept, ‘Giving back to the city’, attempts to change negative perceptions of cars by instilling them with philanthropic functions to create benefits for the wider community. Daimler says a parked vehicle could signal to children if it was safe to cross the road or point them in the right direction if they are lost.

The German manufacturer also envisions vehicles with digital displays integrated into the side panels that could serve either as advertising pillars or even virtual shopping centres allowing passers-by to purchase items from stores. Daimler’s vision says cars of the future will have unlimited connectivity to the digital world without needing to pair to a smartphone.

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Daimler’s ‘Double Purpose’ concept aims to minimise the time vehicles spend parked and out of use. Having driven your car to work, you could make it available as an autonomously driven taxi or car-sharing vehicle, allowing you to generate extra income. The vehicle’s interior could be easily modified to make it suitable for public use, and converted back simply and returned to the owner for the drive home.

The ‘Carchitecture’ concept sees vehicles become an integral part of buildings, operating in a symbiotic relationship. With cars functioning as energy accumulators and houses suppliers and receivers of energy, Daimler envisions a world where electric vehicles could, for example, replace the installed heating system of a building.

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