“Activate the pelvis,” a disembodied voice commands through the car’s audio system. “Tense your buttock muscles.”
It’s an unusual request from a car, but this isn’t any old sedan. This is the car of the future: The latest version of Mercedes-Benz’s six-figure flagship S-Class sedan, a plush, luxurious ride that the company also claims to be the most advanced self-driving vehicle currently on the market. Though it can’t fully drive itself, the company claims that because its computerized assistance lets the car focus on the driving, it frees you up to take part in a series of pre-programmed, mood-altering activities involving music, exercise, massage, and heat–and even aromatherapy.
As the car steers itself down a long stretch of highway, the voice–the standard GPS robotic woman’s tone–guides me through a range of seated ergonomic routines, from backside clenches to shoulder rolls to facial muscle exercises. “The exercises for the face are especially helpful because they make you smile and that stimulates happy feelings,” Daniel Mücke, head of Mercedes’s spa-like “Energizing Comfort” program, says from the seat beside me. “The body is made to move, and if you are driving for five hours, you are not moving,” Mücke says.
Read more at Fast Company.