Smart Vision EQ Fortwo Concept is Self-Driving Urban Car
Germany’s Daimler Group recently previewed an autonomous Smart Vision EQ Fortwo concept electric car that could be ideal for ride sharing or carpooling. The self-driving electric 2-seater looks similar to the current Fortwo and is powered by a 30-kWh Lithium-ion battery and will be unveiled at next month’s 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Smartphone commands will direct the concept car to pick up passengers from a chosen location and also help them find a specific vehicle. The car will communicate with humans through a front panel grille and large projection surfaces on the sides that display personal travel information, including destination. The concept can even display communication with pedestrians crossing the road in front of the vehicle.
This “radical ride sharing concept car” features LED displays instead of headlights that can be configured to look sporty, classic, or like human eyes. Rear lighting can be conventional or provide warnings or traffic information. The EQ Fortwo concept also makes use of all digital surfaces to provide the next level of interaction between vehicle and humans.
Smart’s Vision EQ Fortwo concept is the German automaker’s first car to delete the steering wheel and pedals. A 24-in. screen plus two small 4-in. screens replace the dashboard inside a minimalist cabin with white leatherette lounge bench seating for two. All directions and functions in the car are controlled through voice recognition or smartphone.
The Smart Vision EQ Fortwo knows what to do. When unoccupied, fold-open wing-like doors with special film coating can display weather and local news. When not in use, the Smart Vision EQ Fortwo will automatically return to a charging station to power up or supply power back to the grid.
Smart’s Vision EQ Fortwo is a vision of an automated taxi that demonstrates Daimler’s CASE mobility strategy combining connectivity, autonomous driving, shared service, and electric drive systems. In a statement, Daimler officials said Mercedes-Benz will introduce a series of more than 10 new electric car and SUV models under the EQ brand by 2022, while Smart will continue to offer all models with an electric powertrain option.
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