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Tesla gets a serious challenger, as Mercedes-Benz declared its entry in the autonomous cars space at the CES in Las Vegas on Monday

Storyline:Science & Tech

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz marquee has announced a breakthrough concept that could be the most serious step toward autonomous cars. The Germany luxury automaker unveiled the F 015 “Luxury in Motion” concept last night at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas, and gave a roadmap to its progress into driverless vehicles for the future.

The move could prove to be a serious challenge to American electric automaker Tesla Motors Inc. in coming years, which has similar ambitions of its own. The all-electric autonomous car, which is still a few years away from a formal rollout, has been labeled by many as the closest thing toward a car that drives passengers.

Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz and chairman of Daimler, expressed his excitement over the prospects by commenting that the idea of driverless technology has been a “dream for mankind” since the 1950s, further adding that it is no less than a “revolution.” He exclaimed that the company has had such a project in its pipeline since the 1990s.

This is the second time the company has hinted on the prospect of delving head-on into driverless cars. In November, Mercedes revealed teaser images of the car that showed a sleek futuristic design, with Gorden Wagener, Daimler head of design, commenting that through a “visionary interior design,” the German company is setting the standard for future luxury cars.

The seating arrangement is that of rotating chairs (giving the car’s interior a look similar to a living room) that allow front passengers to turn around and converse directly with those at the back. The new Mercedes concept is also rumored to incorporate an alternative fuel system, much like the fuel cell given to the F600 Hygenius.

However, Mercedes-Benz is not the only car maker to reveal such a concept at the CES 2015; German rival BMW announced its plans of introducing self-parking cars.

Tesla is also banking heavily on the notion of connected and self-aware cars to transform the dynamics of the auto industry. The Californian automaker unveiled several autonomous features on an enhanced version of the Model S back in October. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also publically stated that he believes driverless cars are due for a serious breakout into the mainstream in the next 3-5 years.