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A smarter route to autonomous cars?

Relaxnews
 - 04/09/2017

The smart vision EQ fortwo is a self-driving, self-sharing electrically-powered concept car and it's heading to Frankfurt.

"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 personalizable and, of course, electric," said smart CEO Annette Winkler.

Though based loosely on the current generation smart platform, this new car does away with doors in favor of convex glass panels that open upwards and backwards and is the first vehicle of any type from Daimler to come without a steering wheel. Instead the tiny car -- it's just 2.69m long -- can drive itself and more importantly, automatically knows where to drive to. It uses swarm intelligence to predict not just traffic flow but where the next person who needs to share the car is going to be.

Daimler's grand vision is for fleets of such cars constantly circling urban environments ready for use. Though they will need to be summoned via a mobile device, they will learn over time where to be at any particular moment of the day or night based on historic use and traffic flows. The only time they'll be off road is when the battery pack needs recharging, and at that point they will head automatically to a charging point.

And because no one will ever own this car -- every user will be a passenger -- the concept shows how the company plans to use in-cabin technology to make the car feel like it belongs to the user, for the duration of a journey at least.

"It is a radical approach with a cool and minimalist design," said 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 personalize the vehicle according to their individual needs."

The smart vision EQ fortwo will make its global debut on September 12 when the 2017 Frankfurt auto show opens to the press.

 

Photo : ©Daimler AG