Monday, July 22, 2013

Mercedes-Benz's 'Golf Cart of the Future'

What happens when Mercedes-Benz asks golf fans and auto fans to suggest innovations to golf carts, in order to create a "golf cart of the future"? This happens:

You can click on the image to enlarge and read the type, as you can on the other two images below.

The German automaker calls this the "Vision Golf Cart," and Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, said this of its unveiling: "The Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart has a refined, simplified yet functional shape that fits well into our 'Sensual-Purity' design philosophy. The flow shapes create a 'sculpture on wheels' impression. I was very inspired by the idea of designing a golf cart, giving it a new shape and new sorts of meaning. Why not treating a golf cart like a car, and making it a 'Golf Car'?"

That's all well and good, but where do your golf clubs go? Here's the rear view:

OK, so it has places to secure the golf bag. But what's even more important than golf bags for a round of golf? That's right - brewskis! Cold beverages! Here's the interior, complete with cupholders that warm up or cool down drinks:

One of the (many) cool things about this design is that there is no steering wheel. The Mercedes-Benz golf cart is controlled by a joystick in the center console, which means either passenger can drive it. Another feature: "One wish that came up time and time again, irrespective of country or language, was the possibility of being able to use a telephone. The cart thus also features Bluetooth, so allowing telephone calls to be made via the loudspeaker system while on the move."

This cart also changes the nature of "yelling" fore: "The so-called 'fore button' can be used to quickly warn other players of a mis-placed shot. Pressing this button sends a warning to all other golf carts within the danger zone so that they, too, can issue a warning signal."

It would be silly to ask if you want one. Of course you do! But how can you buy one, and how much do they cost? That's the bad news: this cart is not actually being manufactured by Mercedes-Benz. It's just a design concept, based on a contest for Mercedes fans. Those golfers or gearheads who submitted designs that informed the final concept got to spend time at the just completed Open Championship.

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