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

REUTERS/Steve MarcusOla Kallenius, chairman of the board of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, unveils the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept car,
  • Mercedes-Benz premiered a new concept car at CES on Monday called the AVTR.
  • The car was inspired by the film “Avatar,” and comes with a collection of bizarre features including a set of 33 moving “bionic flaps” on its rear.
  • It also forgoes a steering wheel in favour of a “control unit,” a glowing mound near in the centre of the car’s interior.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Mercedes-Benz managed to make a car that looks even more ridiculously futuristic than Tesla’s Cybertruck.

At CES on Monday Mercedes-Benz revealed a new concept car called the AVTR. The acronym stands for advance vision transportation, but it is also a reference to the 2009 film “Avatar,” which features blue-skinned characters and inspired the car’s aesthetic.

“Avatar” director James Cameron collaborated with Mercedes to create the car, and took the stage alongside it. “I see a future where we continue to co-evolve with our technology… we will merge, we will absorb it and it will become such a natural part of our lives,” said Cameron.

Avatar zoe saldana teeth20th Century FoxA still from the film ‘Avatar.’

“When I sat in this car you put your hand on the control interface and it just breathes, it seems alive, it’s organic,” Cameron added.

REUTERS/Steve MarcusDirector James Cameron (left) poses by the AVTR with Ola Kallenius, chairman of the board of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.

The AVTR is an electric car and is capable of driving sideways as well as forwards. The back is covered with 33 moveable scales. Mercedes calls them “bionic flaps,” and claims their function is to communicate with the driver.

AVTR bionic flapsREUTERS/Steve MarcusA close-up of the the AVTR’s ‘bionic flaps.’

“They can communicate with the driver and through the driver with their outside world through naturally flowing movements in subtle gestures,” Mercedes wrote in a press statement.

The car design also forgoes a steering wheel in place of a glowing mound, or “control unit.”

Merecedes AVTR steeringMercedes-BenzThe ‘control unit’ replaces a conventional steering wheel.

“By placing the hand on the control unit, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognises the driver by his or her heartbeat and breathing,” the company claims.

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.

You can watch the full Mercedes-Benz presentation below. The AVTR is comes onstage at 22:50.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.