(By, Kevin Le)
There is no denying that Mercedes-Benz has been one of the greatest innovators in the car industry. But, the inventors of diesel, supercharged engines for passenger cars, antilock brakes, electronic stability systems and more may have one-upped themselves with the BIOME. Unveiled at an LA Auto Show back in 2010, the ambitious goal of Mercedes-Benz is to create a 100% organic and biodegradable car which can be grown in a laboratory. Not built. Grown.
According to the official press release after the LA Auto Show, “The Mercedes-Benz BIOME grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery. Out on the road the car emits pure oxygen, and at the end of its lifespan it can be simply composted or used as building material.” To get an idea of how revolutionary this is, scientists have been trying for ages to make a car which runs on water/oxygen and releases hydrogen. This organic hybrid will be a complete symbiosis with nature, and does not run on oxygen — it breathes oxygen, thus improving the overall air quality of life as well. Not only would such a car prevent air pollution from increasing, it would also actively cause air pollution to decrease.
Weighing in at about 876 pounds (397.3 kg), the car would be made by growing a material called BioFibre, an organic material lighter than metal and plastic, yet stronger than steel. In total, there are six laboratory-designed BioFibre seeds which will grow into the car, and each seed will look like the signature Mercedes-Benz star. The interior of the BIOME will spawn from the DNA of the star on the front of the car, and the exterior will germinate from a star on the back of the car. Each wheel will also be grown by four other seeds.
To top it off, like other plants, the Mercedes-Benz will be able to run off of sunlight and solar energy. The idea is that the BIOME would collect energy from the sun and bond this energy with a fuel alternative and emit oxygen as a by-product, appropriately named BioNectar4534 (BN4534). Mercedes-Benz has even developed a technology already which would allow the BIOME to use receptors to take excess solar energy from trees and harvest it as BN4534.
At the moment though, the BIOME is simply a concept car. The BIOME is way ahead of its time, and does not even exist yet. However, with some inspired innovation and ingenious engineering, the BIOME may become as common as the Corolla within the next few decades. The seed has already been planted – it just needs to be watered.
“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