This, sports fans, is the end result of an international competition in which hundreds of golfers - and car enthusiasts! - responded to a call by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Centre in Carlsbad, California to submit their ideas for the golf cart of the future,.

A jury chaired by Daimler vice-president for design Gorden Wagener selected the best entries and the most frequently mentioned ideas were incorporated into this design study, aptly named the Vision, which was presented at the US Open golf tournament.

The Vision golf cart is driven by an electric motor, powered by a battery that is kept continuously charged by a solar panel ibn the roof or, on cloudy days, from a domestic power socket. It's controlled by a joystick on the centre console, rather than by a conventional steering wheel, making it possible for either front passenger to drive.

Design Centre head Margarete Wies said: Virtually all aspects of the cart can be controlled without extra buttons, using touch screen monitors - simplicity is the key."

MULTIMEDIA PANEL

The centre console also has a multimedia panel with a rotatable docking station for an iPad or iPhone, and a USB port. Functions such as PA speakers, aircon, the head-up display, the audio system, or communication with the clubhouse or other golf cart can be controlled from here.

When the cart is standing still, the head-up display in the windscreen can show the course layout, the current status of the game or weather information.

One 'need to have' feature that came up time and time again, irrespective of country or language, was mobile telephony - so built-in Bluetooth technology allows calls to be made via the loudspeaker system while on the move.

Using the iPad/iPhone connection to the cart it is possible to communicate directly with the club, for example to order drinks or food, to see current weather data and rain radars, share digital scorecards or even upload photos directly to social media.

FORE!

There's even a 'fore' button - in case of a seriously misdirected shot - that sends a warning to all other golf carts within the danger zone so that they can warn their occupants to stay under the cart's roof.

The interior takes its cues from Mercedes car design, with heatable and ventilated seats, electrically adjustable via Mercedes-style controls on the side of the squab, while an AirScarf warm-air system, first seen on the 2011 SLK Roadster, makes doorless driving a pleasure even on chilly mornings.

Optional lightweight doors click into place to protect against wind and rain while, in bright conditions, the windscreen can be darkened at the touch of a button.

KEEP IT COOL

Another universal request was for lots of stowage, so the Vision golf cart has two glove compartments in the dashboard, a boot under the stowage area for two golf bags and specially designed recesses in the centre console for golf balls, scorecards and sunglasses.

There's a small fridge under the centre console and cup holders between the seats that will keep drinks hot or cold.

The Vision is also street-legal, with a special floodlight function on the LED headlights that enables play to continue when the light starts to fail.

It's only a design study so far, but the Vision shows what can be done when a simple shuttle such as a golf cart is designed by a luxury carmaker.