Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept revealed
Smart has unveiled its centerpiece for next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept. Designed to preview the Smart of 2030, the concept is fully electric, fully autonomous and is designed exclusively for car sharing.
The Vision EQ measures in at exactly the same size as a regular Smart ForTwo (2.69 metres) but comes packed with technologies and features Smart believes will begin to roll out from 2025. Featuring Level 5 autonomy means no driver input is required, hence the lack of steering wheel and pedals.
A wealth of display panels and digital readouts inside and out have been fitted to allow the car to communicate with those inside as well as pedestrians. The dashboard has been replaced by a 24-inch screen, which displays everything from navigation, video and images, while two smaller four-inch screens flank the central panel.
The seat is designed as a bench and finished in a synthetic white leather, while a retraceable armrest has also been fitted. There is also extra storage beneath the bench and on the floor, too.
On the outside, the front grille has been replaced by a 44-inch digital readout, which can display a welcome message to the driver or pass on messages to pedestrians such as, ‘cross the road.’ If the car is unoccupied the doors can also display information about the weather or local news.
The Vision EQ is designed exclusively as a car sharing service, meaning there is no private owner of the vehicle. Customers hail the car using a smartphone app, but using demand prediction and complex machine learning algorithms, the car will already know it is required helping reduce waiting times. For example if there is a sporting event happening in a city the car will know demand will be high at that location at a certain time.
When the car is not in use it independently makes its way to a charging station to charge the 30kWh battery or discharge energy back to the grid. Mercedes predicts the number of people using car sharing services worldwide will have increased fivefold by 2025 to 36.7 million.
“In the future one and two seat cars will be important for future urban driving,” Dr. Annette Winkler, CEO of Smart told Auto Express. “People think that when cars are autonomous the size of the car doesn’t matter, we think the opposite.”
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August 30, 2017 at 10:05AM
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