Skip to comments.Invisible Mercedes brings James Bond technology to life
Posted on 03/08/2012 10:11:12 AM PST by shove_it
In a promotion for its first production fuel-cell vehicle in Germany, Mercedes-Benz turned a B-Class hatchback invisible -- at least, from a distance, using the same idea behind the invisible car in the James Bond film "Die Another Day." See if you can see it before it sees you.
The invisibility cloak had its tryout this week on the streets of Stuttgart, Germany. To make Q's idea of an invisible car real, Mercedes employed dozens of technicians and some $263,000 worth of flexible LED mats covering one side of the car. Using a camera mounted on the opposite side of the vehicle, the LEDs were programmed to reproduce the image from the camera at the right scale, blending the vehicle into the background from a few feet away. Doing so required power sources, computers and other gear totaling 1,100 lbs. of equipment inside the B-Class.
Mercedes' point was to show how the F-Cell hydrogen fuel cell powered car would be invisible to the environment, producing only water vapor and heat for emissions. For an invisible car, it's getting a lot of stares.
(Excerpt) Read more at autos.yahoo.com ...
I saw this yesterday on www.wimp.com
It was a cool video, in principle.
The invisibility is the marketing hook. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology is the interesting part. Without a revolution in battery storage technology the whole idea behind the battery powered hybrids and 100% electric vehicles has never been a real answer. I’ll keep an open mind about this till there’s more informational available about the state of the technology and the cost.
I believe there’s a real problem in distribution and storage of hydrogen.
/clickingnoise “It’s in the trees...”
Check out this reply:
“If Mercedes has a car with a cloaking device imagine what we are not seeing in the sky everyday....”
Think about it people. Mercedes is just a car company.
I want the machine guns, i live in CA were there are too many a-hole drivers on the road.
My experience (we use lots of hydrogen in refineries) is the cost of producing H2 is the real problem.
The least cost method is steam reforming natural gas. Of course natural gas is falling in price and will likely stay low. But if you use the natural gas to make hydrogen at an added cost an loss of some of the energy, why not just use the natural gas as fuel in the first place. Natural Gas can be used to in both a combustion engine as well as a fuel cell.
Neat but where’s my George Jetson flying car?
Actually, I can see there would certainly be some applications for this technology in a fully developed, mature, ready-for-prime-time form.
For instance, 1)You're in a desperate life-or-death situation and the police or mafia hit men are chasing you and you don't give a darn about all the other innocent people on the road, and 2)You're a cop looking to bag some speeders and there isn't a billboard handy.
Other than that, please don't throw that invisibility switch on your car's dashboard anywhere else but in your own garage!
Guess I just don't have a very good imagination. I'm more interested in this technology for spies and for its potential military applications.
A Tesla, for example, is a very practical, usable, fast, fully electric car--with long lasting lithium cell batteries.
For people with an extra $120,000 or so to spend on a car....
I have several invisible Mercedes!
LED’s with cameras used to render invisibility (actually, LOW visibility) is technology developed by our military, for tanks and other very large vehicles. It only works one dimensionally (at present) like the side of a van like vehicle (evidently like this Mercedes), not front to back...., or even apparently on both sides (as it require a camera on the opposite side of the viewer).
This is just a marketing gimmick on this car...but, I think a very compelling gimmick too. Esp. since this really isn’t proposed technology for cars (rather only tanks!).
If the fuel cell technology is practical...and low cost....it will be as revolutionary as the gimmick...
As long as you don’t forget to charge it for too long...
“Honest officer I did look twice and nothing was coming down the road.”
or rather the police will be using it for speed enforcement traps to gather more revenue
For people with an extra $120,000 or so to spend on a car....
And if you ever run the battery pack completely dead chances are it is incapable of holding a charge and needs to be replaced at a cost of $40,000+. Yes indeed, very practical!
I’m guessing the appeal of hydrogen is its abundance, but as you point out, you still have to process to get it.
What I’ve heard about hydrogen is that it’s quite a different proposition to push it through pipelines; I believe it had to do with corrosion or leaks or maybe something else.
Thanks to the new invisible cars Mercedes hopes to increase sales by 1,000% as drivers constantly crash into the invisible Mercedes and will need to purchase new cars. They’ve engineered them such that most will survive to buy yet another invisible car.
When the CEO of Mercedes was asked “Why do you think a person involved in a serious collision, due to your invisible design, will be willing to purchase another one?”
He paused for a minute and then said “The same reason people will vote for Obama twice ...”
The appeal of hydrogen is the lack of understanding what it takes make hydrogen fuel.
You have to use way more energy contained in another source to make the hydrogen, then significantly more energy to compress it down to a usable volume. Because of the low specific gravity, it creates more waste heat (additional lost energy) than compression of something like natural gas. What Ive heard about hydrogen is that its quite a different proposition to push it through pipelines
We have hydrogen pipelines in places like Houston. It is used in hydrocracker and other some other refining units. The compression related to moving it in a pipeline.
I believe it had to do with corrosion or leaks or maybe something else.
Many talk about embrittlement in steel piping and other equipment. But we have learned to deal with hydrogen safely over many decades of use in pipes and other equipment. We don't make them out of simple carbon steel but more sophisticated alloys.
Hydrogen is also more difficult to prevent leaking because the molecule is so small. I often specify explosion-proof rated equipment. If it is to be rated for hydrogen as well as say natural gas, the mating surfaces of a "lid" and "box" have to have a very fine finish.
Hydrogen introduces additional expenses, but we are well past technical issues of knowing how to transport and store it. At least in the refining industry, it is no big deal, just added expense.
Thanks much for your reply, you covered what I couldn’t remember. It does sound like natural gas fuel cell is making more sense.
I’ve never seen a price comparision, and don’t know if one is possible; but, before we got too far down the line it would make sense to at least estimate the price/mile.
Are you talking about fuel cells using either hydrogen or natural gas? If so, the technology is too new and limited in use for a meaningful price comparison. Both have been built many times but not in significant commercial production.
About a decade ago I tried to get into a pilot program for using a natural gas fuel cell as a stationary generator for reducing electric demand. One of the waste products of the fuel cell is heat. I had a swimming pool and was proposing a system to heat the pool. It never went anywhere and I wasn't willing to spend any significant money on my own.
Yes. For the reasons you mention, I don't know how one would estimate it, but obviously if by the time you got it into a car it was the equivalent of $20/gal gas...
Thanks for the info.
We were trying to compare a hydrogen fuel cell versus a natural gas fuel cell.
Do you know what source was used for the hydrogen fuel and was the government subsidized?