Greetings from Germany!
I spent the day yesterday at the Mercedes museum here in Stuttgart. I'll be traveling to their Design Center today to hear more about their work on sustainable mobility and to test drive some cars (yes!).
The museum is a pretty spectacular building. If you ever find yourself in Stuttgart, you should definitely work it into your itinerary. The center of the building is a massive open space that allows you to view the various levels of exhibits as you cycle your way down the spiral-shaped structure.
Our tour guide pointed out a very cool feature that the architect built in to get around the requirement to have firedoors — if there were ever a fire in the museum, a large turbo prop fan in the ceiling would spin to life and a series of nozzles running along the walls from top to bottom would kick in to create the world's largest artificial tornado, sucking all the smoke from the building and venting it to the outside.
I've included a couple of videos showing the tornado in action:
I'm off to the Design Center to meet with the Mercedes futurologist and to learn more about the company's vision for a greener transportation future. I'll also be test driving some of their cars on their private test track, which, I admit, is the item on the schedule that I'm most excited about. They aren't allowing us to bring our cameras to the Design Center, but they'll be shooting photos that they will distribute for us. I'll share those later.