It's no longer science fiction, the era of invisible cars has arrived -- really. Mercedes-Benz has created an invisible version of its B-Class F-CELL car, the company's first electric car with a hydrogen fuel cell.
The B-Class F-CELL was introduced in 2010 and about 200 cars have been produced. To draw attention to the car prior to them going into full production in about two years, Mercedes had one car outfitted with special effects gear to make it invisible and then drove it around Hamburg, Germany.
To create the invisible car, flexible LED, or light-emitting diode, mats were fitted to one side of the Mercedes. On the opposite side, a camera transmitted whatever was next to the car to the LEDs, effectively rendering the car invisible. The effect stunned people, causing double takes everywhere the car traveled, whether it was moving or stationary, since the still-visible wheels provide a clue of the car's presence.
The total cost to make the Mercedes B-Class F-CELL invisible was more than $250,000 and even at that, invisibility was limited -- the five batteries powering the technology that created the effect lasted a maximum of five hours before being depleted.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.