The smart vision EQ fortwo comes as a preview of the future urban mobility, based on a brand-new concept. The autonomous concept car picks up passengers from their chosen location, greets them and takes them to where they need to go. Driving-free, emission-free, hazard-free. The show car is the first ever built by Daimler Group that ditches the steering wheel and pedals.
The smart vision EQ fortwo follows the CASE principals (Connectivity, Autonomous Driving, Flexible Use – Shared & Services, Electric Drive Systems). Smart is thus presenting – at the Frankfurt Motor Show – a concept vehicle a concept vehicle that is part of the newly formed EQ sub-brand. More than ten electric cars are set to go into series production by 2022. It was the smart who led the way with its electric drive version in 2007. Today smart is the only car maker in the world to offer its entire range with electric propulsion.
“The smart vision EQ fortwo is our vision of future urban mobility; it is the most radical car sharing concept car of all: fully autonomous, with maximum communication capabilities, friendly, comprehensively customizable and, of course, electric,” says smart CEO Annette Winkler.
So let’s check out how it complies with the brand’s CASE principle:
Shared: The smart vision EQ fortwo is a new vision of car sharing. Cities and municipal authorities are also a target group for future car sharing concepts from smart. Currently, a car2go vehicle is hired somewhere in the world every 1.4 seconds. At present car2go has over 2.6 million customers worldwide – and the number is constantly growing. The latest studies estimate that the number of users of car sharing services worldwide will hit 36.7 million people by 2025.
Autonomous: The smart vision EQ fortwo concept vehicle demonstrates how autonomous driving could make future car sharing even more convenient, simple and economically efficient. Users do not have to look for the next available car – it will find them and collect them from their chosen location.
Connected: The smart vision EQ fortwo is summoned using a mobile device. New individualization options help users recognize that it is “their” vehicle: the Black Panel at the front (size: 44 inches/105 x 40 cm) as well as large projection surfaces at the sides allow the smart vision EQ fortwo to be personalized.
LED displays in place of the headlamps can echo a classic look (from sporty to neutral) or take on an eye-like shape, which allows the vehicle to communicate on a more human level. The rear lamps can also have a conventional look or provide detailed information – for example warnings or traffic information.
The front radiator grille serves on the one hand to add a personal touch and on the other to communicate with other road users (e.g. information for pedestrians crossing the road). The doors of the show car are coated with a film that can be activated as required. If the car is unoccupied, information about local events, the weather, news or the time can be displayed. The smart’s Black Panel Grille indicates whether the car is occupied by one or by two passengers.
Those who want can use the 1+1 sharing function to make contact with other interesting users. Possible passengers are suggested on the basis of their saved profiles and current travel plans, and can be accepted or rejected. To ease interaction, when two passengers are on board, the large display in the interior shows shared interests such as concerts they have recently attended or sports that they play.
Electric: The smart vision EQ fortwo is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 30 kWh. When not in use, it makes its way independently to a charging station to load up with new energy. Alternatively, the cars can dock with the power grid inductively, feed in electricity and act as a “swarm battery”, taking pressure off the grid.
Specific to the brand, the smart vision EQ fortwo, at 2699 mm in length, 1720 in width and 1535 in height is made to optimize space. The two-seater communicates by means of a Black Panel Grille and LED displays, which replace headlamps and tail lamps. The side windows are covered with a special film onto which information can be projected from inside. The front area of the interior features a Black Panel Display for user interface activities.
Daimler sees the concept car as a piece of jewelry encircling a precious pearl. Prominent wheel arches and short overhangs confirm the smart typical proportions. To save space, the doors pivot wing-like over the rear axle for facilitating access and creating a dramatic sight. The side windows sport a tapering hexagonal shape, while the rose gold-colored three-dimensional elements in the wheels and the diffuser allude to the electric drive system.
Metallic surfaces reinforce the futuristic design, which continues inside. It is the first ever car conceived by the Daimler Group that lacks steering wheel and pedals. The vehicle is thus controlled via personal mobile device or voice input. It replaces the typical dashboard with a 24-inch screen, completed with two 4-inch side displays that the car may use, for example, to greet its occupants. They find comfort in the high-quality leather white seats. The lounge-like bench can separate the passengers, if necessary, by a retractable center armrest with stowage facility. Further stowage options are available on the floor and under the bench seat. Luggage and personal belongings can be secured under blue rubber tightening straps.