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Auto Column: “Back to the Future” Day

The+Mercedes-Benz+F+015+Luxury+in+Motion

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion

October 21st, 2015 was a big day for an exorbitant amount of people. 
Everyone, including myself, was excited for the day to arrive. There was no way my family was going to miss watching “Back to the Future II” for the thousandth time.
“Back to the Future” Day was especially monumental for those that grew up with the film franchise and watched the world shape around them, not realizing that we were closer to such a reality than we thought.
The biggest reason we were not able to compare our accomplishments of today with that of the film is that it anticipates 2015 as a hyper-evolved version of the ’80s. Which it isn’t.
We still live in a United States with an infrastructure that is very similar to that of the 1980s, and our sense of style is an evolved version of 1990s conservatism. And if you include hipsters, it’s a super-hybrid of evolved 1990s conservatism and anything predating the 1950s.
With that being said, our technology has managed to follow and fit within that niche. 
Rounded off edges is something the ’80s never foresaw. The use of brushed metals with white, silver, gold, and black are things that could have come from a Steve Jobs wet dream.
Companies of all different kinds of products took it upon themselves to say something about their accomplishments on “Back to the Future” Day and how the film inspired them to create and push the limits of possibility. 
Or at least, thats what Nike did with the debut of self-tying Mags sneakers on the TV show, “Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel,” only created and inspired solely by “Back to the Future.” 
A few companies in the auto industry took it upon themselves to utilize this as a marketing opportunity for vehicles that have already been debuted or talked about for sometime.
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz had a themed commercial for “Back to the Future” Day, showing off its F 015 Luxury in Motion research car, a car that we have already seen for some time.
The commercial had a teen on a  hoverboard right by the F 015 vehicle. It then cuts to a message that says, “Thanks for inspiring our engineers, Doc. Happy ‘Back to the Future’ Day.” Then it ends with the F 015 driving on a highway at night; very picturesque.
However, disappointingly, the commercials Mercedes-Benz released were roughly 15 seconds long. Not nearly enough time to be impressed with anything. There wasn’t an explanation as to what the F 015 even is, besides the obvious (a car).   
A quick explanation of the F 015 includes the concept of an autonomously driving vehicle.
To be honest, it’s really a living room on wheels. The key highlights presented on the Mercedes-Benz website state that the car can be driven in both manual or automatic transmissions, front and rear LED modules that “communicate with the outside world,” rotating “lounge” chairs, open-pore walnut wood floor, electric drive system capabilities, and many more features.
As you can see, it’s more a living room on wheels than a vehicle. It’s probably for older people who shouldn’t drive and people who hate driving We don’t want those people on the roads, anyway. 
So, Mercedes- Benz, I commend you on your autonomous vehicle concept. Yet, my complaint is that your commercial for “Back to the Future” Day seemed put together last minute, and overall, the car looks like that monster from the movie “Pan’s Labyrinth” that had no eyes.
Lexus 
In many other articles discussing “Back to the Future” Day, people have also mentioned Lexus’ SLIDE just for the hell of it, as will I. 
I really, really like the SLIDE, which is the coolest functional hover board you will ever see for quite some time. 
The video released was not on October 21st. It was actually released on August 4th. It shows a hover board in use at a custom built skate park, or hover park. The board is made from carbon-fiber and the top of the board is natural bamboo. It’s insulated, uses electro magnets, 32 superconductor bulks, 50 oz. of liquid nitrogen, and tuned to skateboard ride hight.
My description of this dream won’t do it any justice, so I suggest going to the Lexus website and looking at the videos in utter awe. Don’t forget to pick up your jaw afterwards.
The only sad part is, as reported by WIRED, the Lexus spokesperson Maurice Durand said that SLIDE is merely a part of a marketing campaign for a new car. 
Still, it’s a hopeful sign for a cool future.
Toyota
Toyota was actually the one who went out and released a promotional video with Christopher Loyd and Michael J. Fox for “Back to the Future” Day, to remind us what we have accomplished so far in relation to the film.
Also, the promotional video remind us that the idea of a car driven by alternative fuel isn’t dead yet, but rather, it may just be the future.  
Oh, and of course, the ads sole base is to buy the Toyota Mirai, which was debuted already in 2014.
Toyota did squeeze in that technically, the car will be powered by trash. Well, not trash trash, but trash that was converted into hydrogen, then put into the car. Not quite the same, but pretty close.
I will add though, while we look at Tesla for green energy alternatives in transportation, the charge does take long and it requires better time management skills than most people possess.
Cars fueled alternatively by things other than gasoline may be the future we haven’t yet anticipated, even though it’s not a new concept.