If you thought vehicle sharing was still a project for the future, allow smart to show you today’s possibilities. Their original smart fortwo concept has been at the centre of their car sharing approach. with European urban spaces allowing for the practicality of a pay per use business model.
However, today’s new approach to ride sharing usually also looks at the possibility of autonomous driving and an environmentally responsible approach.
The new showcar announced by smart for the 2017 Frankfurt Motorshow ticks all the boxes for a practical ride share of the future. The smart vision EQ fortwo concept brings the best of all the genres together, with smart projecting it under the acronym of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared (& Services), Electric).
“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 personalisable and, of course, electric,” says smart CEO Annette Winkler. “With the smart vision EQ fortwo, we are giving a face to the themes with which Mercedes-Benz Cars describes the vision of future mobility within the CASE strategy.”
The vision EQ takes the practicality of the car2go platform to a new level. At present car2go has over 2.6 million customers worldwide – and the number is growing all the time. The latest studies predict that the number of users of car sharing schemes worldwide will have quintupled by 2025 to 36.7 million. Pick and drop the car off at a specific spot and that ends your transaction. But with the EQ, you can call the car to wherever you are and drop it off anywhere. Besides, you could choose not to drive. The sharing concept also allows you to share your ride with other users.
The car’s body panels and screens adapt to their environment, with the front fascia indicating status and even the doors either remaining clear or opaque depending on whether it is occupied.
“The smart vision EQ fortwo embodies the urban luxury of the future. It is a radical approach with a cool and minimalist design. The show car has the hallmark smart proportions, with accentuated, pronounced wheel arches at the four corners and with no overhang,” says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler AG. “A multiplicity of digital surfaces inside and outside allows the next level of communication between human and automobile. The customer is able to personalise the vehicle according to their individual needs.”
The vision EQ does away with the steering wheel, instead depending on mobile app or voice control. It has a 24‑inch (58.5 x 15.6 cm) screen which is surrounded by a rose gold-coloured frame. The outer edges feature two smaller displays (four-inch), which can be used by the smart vision EQ fortwo for personalised messages.