In its segment on driverless cars, 60 Minutes showcased the latest technology being hotly pursued by numerous automakers, most notably Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
With Bill Whitaker as the segment host and Mercedes-Benz engineer Alex Hilliger von Thile as the “driver” the duo took a spin in a Mercedes F015. It’s the futuristic-looking prototype the German carmaker is testing as car that does the driving — on a pre-programmed course.
The sleek Mercedes-Benz had a lot newfangled equipment: As the segment detailed:
* Any passenger can control the car from any seat, two of which can face forward or backward;
* The no-button dashboard pops up with the swipe of a hand and responds to both eye movements and hand gestures;
* In the clip, Mercedes-Benz engineer adjusts the volume of the car’s music without touching a knob;
* The car uses cameras and radar sensors to detect its surroundings.
Von Thile’s also explains thcar’s ability to choose music from your playlist based on traffic.
“When you’re stuck in gridlock, he said. “it picks a calming song, and then shifts to something more ‘vibrant’ and ‘lively’ when the road is clear.”
Article Last Updated: October 4, 2015.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.