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Mercedes Vision AVTR digital transformation

Mercedes Vision AVTR: the embodiment of digital transformation 

Mercedes Vision AVTR was unveiled in 2020. Inspired by the film Avatar, it takes digital transformation to the next level. 

The car is visually stunning. The Avatar inspiration can be seen in the bright, organically styled neon lights that envelop the vehicle. It can even glide sideways on specially designed wheels. 

Mercedes Vision AVTR: the embodiment of digital transformation

But the most interesting aspect of the car is that it is the true embodiment of digital transformation. The car uses technology to innovate. From the gliding wheels to the lack of pedals, the car has some of the most imaginative and intelligent tech ever seen in a vehicle. But the most impressive aspect of this car is in its total transformation of the user experience. One  of the main goals of digital transformation is to provide improved user experience, and the Mercedes Vision AVTR is the perfect example and total embodiment of that goal. 

Vera Schmidt, Director of Advanced User Experience Design

Mercedes Vision AVTR Vera Schmidt Director of Advanced User Experience Design

Vera Schmidt, Director of Advanced User Experience Design, explained that they wanted the car to be beyond a car - they wanted it to be like an organic, living being. They wanted humans to have ‘a biometric connection’ with the car. They wanted us to interact with the car, and the car to interact with us, in the way that another living creature would. So they set out on a mission to use technology to transform the experience of a human interaction with a vehicle. 

The car was visually designed to look like an organic creature. There are no hard edges. No cold metal finishes. The car sweeps and swoons in gentle curves. It is also made almost entirely from recycled materials. 

The usual Mercedes voice commands were not used. And this is where the user experience gets seriously clever and innovative. The Mercedes Vision AVTR rejects the current ‘best practice’ in tech interaction. A living creature does not talk back to us in our own language. When we interact with a cat it may purr, miaow and respond to our touch.  But a cat doesn’t talk to us in human language. So the car does not use AI to talk to us. It takes the experience beyond that. Vera explained ‘we are trying to let the living organism [the car] start approaching the human, and not we as the human approaching the machine, which is very different’.  This is digital transformation in action. 

An animal has a heartbeat, and breathes, so the Mercedes Vision AVTR also has a heartbeat and breathes. There is no steering wheel or pedals. Instead, there is a touchpad in the middle of the driver and passenger seats that is used to control speed and direction. The touch pad pulsates, and when a hand is placed on it, it pulsates at the rhythm of the heartbeat in the hand. That pulsation is passed through the seats, so the driver and passenger literally feel the heartbeat of the car, as though it is a living, sentient entity. It also means that either the driver or passenger can drive the vehicle, without changing seats or even stopping. The car has a series of air vents on its rear that pulsate as though it is taking regular breaths. 

Digital Transformation for User Experience 

mercedes vision AVTR digital transformation for user experience

It is a perfect example of what can be achieved with digital transformation. One of the main uses of digital transformation is to use technology to improve customer experience. The very best digital transformation projects create a new user experience that we did not previously think was possible, or even dare to imagine. The Mercedes Vision AVTR delivers this. It takes a car - a cold, hard lump of metal, and uses technology to elevate the experience. It carefully and intentionally crafts the experience. Every detail is designed to promote and elevate that experience. When you get in this car, you are not in a car. You are travelling alongside a sentient being. 

The true genius of this lies in the fact that a mere century ago humans were only able to travel on sentient beings: horses, donkeys, camels and elephants were the only way of travelling other than by using our own two feet. The Mercedes AVTR uses digital transformation and the power of technology to return technology to what feels like a more natural state. It is genius, and a perfect example of what digital transformation can deliver at its best. 

It is also great to see women taking the lead in tech teams, and a fantastic example of why diversity in tech teams is so important. Diverse teams bring more skills, experience and viewpoints to a project, and allow great things to be achieved. Read more about the importance of diversity of tech teams in our article here. Vera Schmidt has delivered a masterpiece in user experience. We need more female tech leaders as role models for other women, and Vera is a great example and role model.

Read this article for an in-depth look at digital transformation.

Watch a video about the Mercedes Vision AVTR here.

At Volanto we are experts in digital transformation and harnessing the power of technology to transform your business. We are on a mission to democratise digital. Digital transformation is not out of reach for any business. It just takes an in-depth understanding of technology, an understanding of your customers and a bit of imagination and innovation. Don’t be overwhelmed by what is possible. We break down digital transformation so it can be achieved in a series of mini steps. Let us help you transform your business through technology. Contact us now. The future is tech - and the Mercedes AVTR is more proof of that. 

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