‘Future Mercedes Drives Sideways’

On August 5 2021, an Imgur user shared a video they titled “Future Mercedes drive sideways,” which, as the title suggests, purportedly showed a futuristic-looking Mercedes-Benz with the ability to operate “sideways”:

Several moments in the clip focused on the Mercedes-Benz logo, visible on the vehicle’s tires, grill, and interior. However, the clip was also clearly not an advertisement for a street-ready new model.

Portions of the video displayed a username watermark, @SUPERCARBLONDIE. On July 17 2020, the YouTube channel “Supercar Blondie” published a clip, “Futuristic Mercedes Drives Sideways | AVTR,” a description for which read:

This car was so amazing to see in person! I saw it earlier this year [2020] in Germany, but wasn’t able to see it drive. Now, I’ve been sent this exclusive footage from Mercedes of the car driving!! Look how it crawls sideways! So frickin cool. Hope you like the vid! xo, Alex

On January 7 2020, BusinessInsider.com published an article about an event hosted by Mercedes-Benz at CES (a technology convention) in January 2020. It was headlined:

Mercedes-Benz unveiled a bizarre car inspired by ‘Avatar’ at CES which can drive sideways, has no steering wheel, and features scales

BusinessInsider.com reported that the vehicle was a “concept car,” explaining that it was unlikely to be spotted in the wild:

Unlike the Cybertruck, the AVTR is only a concept car, so don’t expect to be seeing it or any of its features on the road any time soon.

Mercedez-Benz.com also featured a page devoted to its “AVTR” concept, published on January 7 2020. Vehicles with the ability to “drive sideways” have long been a concept of interest on social media, but typically remain in the “concept car” or “invention” column.

As for concept cars, a 2018 BBC story explained their relationship to the end product:

“A concept car is a development accelerator,” explains DS design director Thierry Metroz. Its role, he says, is to “test the new technologies that we imagine for the future, and accelerate their development”.

Some concepts are a clear statement of intent.

Three years ago [in 2015], Porsche stole the headlines at the Geneva Motor Show with the Mission E – a concept for a fast, high-powered, long-range electric car.

The reaction, from press and public, was very positive. As a result, the German marque will begin production of a real-world electric sportscar, the Taycan, in 2019.

An Imgur post bearing the title, “Future Mercedes drive sideways” represented one of many social media posts about cars with the capability of driving “sideways.” The vehicle seen in the clip was a concept car presented by Mercedes-Benz at CES in early 2020. However, concept cars are so named because they represent prototypes of styling and technology which would have to undergo refining and changes before the concepts could translate to real-life vehicles that are available to the public.