Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept 31 | 08 | 2017

    SMART HAS GIVEN buyers a glimpse into its future by unveiling the new all-electric, fully autonomous Smart Vision EQ ForTwo concept. The car will make its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. (Related: Smart launches electric drive range)

    Fully electric, fully autonomous and is designed exclusively for car sharing, the concept has been designed to preview the Smart of 2030.

    Measuring exactly the same length, 2699mm, as a today’s third-generation Smart ForTwo — at 1720mm wide and 1535mm tall, the new concept car is 50mm wider and 25mm lower — the Vision EQ has been packed with technologies and features the company believes will begin to roll out from 2025.


    One look at the pix, and the first thing you’ll notice is there’s no steering wheel or pedals. That’s because the Vision EQ features Level 5 autonomy, which means no driver input is required. Scary, huh!

    Designed exclusively as a car sharing service, there will be no private owner of each Vision EQ. Customers will simply hail the car using a smartphone app. (Related: Mini reveals electric car design)


    But it appears — certainly according to Smart — that apparently even hailing the car won’t be necessary. By using demand prediction and complex machine learning algorithms, the car will already know it is required helping reduce waiting times. Ok … the world of the future is getting even more weird.


    The example Mercedes gives is, 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.

    Isn’t that what taxis do now? Oh, and where are all the Vision EQs going to park as they await the tens of thousands of people exiting the sporting event? And who’s going to ensure there’s no gridlock as they all try to drive away from the stadium? Just sayin’.


    Both the inside and outside of the car have display a wealth of panels and digital readouts to communicate with those inside as well as pedestrians.

    Inside the cabin, passengers share a bench seat, which has been finished in a synthetic white leather. If you don’t want to get too close to each other, a retraceable armrest has also been fitted. Extra storage is located beneath the bench and on the floor. (Related: BMW reveals hot new i3s)


    The interior is dominated by a 24-inch screen, which essentially replaces the conventional dashboard. It  displays everything from navigation, video and images. Two smaller four-inch screens flank the central panel.

    Externally, the front grille has been replaced by a 44-inch digital readout. This can display a welcome message to the driver —  note the naff message, “Hey David”, in the image below —  or pass on messages to pedestrians such as, ‘cross the road.’


    To ease entry in tight parking spaces and reduce the danger of collision with cyclists, the two round electrically operated doors pivot backwards parallel to the sides of the car over the rear wheels, revealing a large aperture through which to climb aboard into the flat-floored cabin.


    Rather bizarrely, if the car is unoccupied the doors can also display information about the weather or local news.

    Cleverly though, when the car is not in use it will make its way independently to a charging station to charge the 30kWh battery, or discharge energy back to the grid.


    According to Mercedes, by 2025 the number of people using car sharing services worldwide will have increased fivefold to 36.7 million. Really? A fivefold increase in just seven years?


    “The Smart Vision EQ Fortwo is our vision of future urban mobility; fully autonomous, with maximum communication capabilities and electric,” Dr. Annette Winkler, CEO of Smart, said.

    “In the future, car-sharing users will not have to look for the next available car: it will find them and collect passengers directly from their chosen location.”

    Related: New entry-level Smart Pure

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    Jim McGill


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