One of the important events that happens at the LA Auto Show that everyone is excited about is the Los Angeles Design Challenge, an annual competition at the that provides up-and-coming designers with the opportunity to collaborate with an automaker to design a futuristic concept vehicle using a few set requirements.
This year, Mercedes-Benz is taking “green” technology to a whole new “dreaming” level. No, we’re not referring to hybrids or low fuel emission models, we’re talking about a brand new concept in automotive design.
The theme of the challenge is to build a safe and comfortable 2+2 compact car that comes with excellent handling and cutting-edge design and weighs in at no more than 1,000 lbs.
This Mercedes Biome concept, which, incidentally, was built not far from Los Angeles at the company’s US design headquarters in Carlsbad, California. This amazing vehicle is called the Biome Concept and is described as a vehicle that “grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery”. In layman’s terms, the Biome Concept is pretty much an organic hybrid that was created in complete symbiosis with nature, producing its own oxygen and contributing to the improvement of air quality.
The Mercedes Biome would be grown in a lab rather than built on a production line, as in present.
“As the inventor of the motor car, we wanted to illustrate the vision of the perfect vehicle of the future, which is created and functions in complete symbiosis with nature. The Mercedes-Benz BIOME is a natural technology hybrid, and forms part of our earth’s ecosystem. It grows and thrives like the leaves on a tree” Hubert Lee, head of the Mercedes-Benz advanced design studios said.
This vision includes growing a material called BioFibre which would be lighter than metal or plastic, yet stronger than steel. The resulting car would weighs in at 875.5 lbs (around 394 kg). The entire vehicle would also be completely biodegradable.
“The interior of the BIOME grows from the DNA in the Mercedes star on the front of the vehicle, while the exterior grows from the star on the rear. To accommodate specific customer requirements, the Mercedes star is genetically engineered in each case, and the vehicle grows when the genetic code is combined with the seed capsule. The wheels are grown from four separate seeds,” Mercedes-Benz explained.
The idea is that the vehicle would collect energy from the sun and store it within the bonds of a fuel alternative, the only by-product of which is oxygen, appropriately nicknamed BioNectar4534.
The Mercedes Biome would work with nature, and Mercedes has already developed technology to retrofit trees with receptors, which would allow us to harvest their excess solar energy into BN4534.