Mercedes Creates an Almost-Invisible Car to Promote F-Cell [Video]

By Wesley Fenlon

It's a metaphor for zero emission vehicle design. Also, it's an invisible car.

Mercedes has done something wonderful and something terrible to promote its F-Cell zero emissions hydrogen car. To demonstrate the car's "invisibility" to the environment, Mercedes coated one side of an F-Cell with LEDs and attached a very complex camera array to the other side...and made an invisible car. It's only invisible from one side, and the trick's not perfect--you can still see the outline of the car--but at a distance, a parked F-Cell would be easy to glance over. Except for the wheels, of course, which remain uncovered and conspicuous.

It's a wonderfully cool way to promote the F-Cell, but it's terrible because James Bond's invisible car in Die Another Day has long been a laughingstock of technology in movies. That car was so stupid and unbelievable that we made fun of it for years. And now Mercedes has introduced doubt. Could such a car actually exist, someday?

The F-Cell will be available for sale in 2014, minus all the LEDs and cameras.