In the James Bond film Die Another Day, Q introduces 007 to his assigned Aston Martin Vanquish--or “Vanish,” as it’s nicknamed.
Equipped with small cameras all around, they transmit images to a “light-emitting polymer skin on the opposite side,” Q explains, rendering the car invisible on command.
Evidently, someone at Mercedes-Benz liked that idea, and WhatCar? shows us the automaker’s interpretation in promoting its F-CELL hydrogen fuel-cell power system on the B Class model sold overseas.
The idea is that the car’s 134-horsepower electric motor with 250-mile range and zero-emission technology make it invisible to the environment.
Quick side note for those unfamiliar: the B Class is currently invisible in America due to non-existence, not high-tech. Imagine a 2012 Mazda5 with a three-point star in place of its big grin, and you have the basic idea.
So as you can see in the video above, Mercedes' engineers draped the driver side with tiny LED screens and positioned a camera on the passenger side. The live images were then displayed on the LEDs, completing the effect.
The special B Class recently toured Germany, showing off its cleverness to curious crowds of all ages. And no, they didn’t do so by creeping up on unsuspecting pedestrians. Just the one side performs the trick, and when it does, you can still make out the vehicle’s silhouette and its wheels’ exposed lower halves.
Once the B Class F-CELL has everyone’s attention, it briefly becomes a billboard and reminds them it’s “Invisible to the environment. F-CELL with 0.0 emissions” before returning to the show.