New Smart concept is Mercedes’ vision of the future

Posted on Sep 1, 2017 by

The new vision fortwo is Mercedes-Benz’s idea for a future of car-sharing cities filled with zero-emissions vehicles

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Revealed before its public premiere at the starting on September 14, the new Smart vision EQ fortwo study is an autonomous, steering-wheel-less, zero-emissions conceptualised for car-sharing communities of the near future.

Mercedes envisions it as local public transport, predicting the number of users of car sharing schemes worldwide to increase five-fold by 2025 to nearly 37 million people.

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Fully connected, with a 30kWh lithium-ion battery on board, the Smart concept forecasts cities where autonomous vehicles pick up passengers directly from their location, using swarm intelligence to predict demand and always remain nearby.

At 2.7 metres long and measuring in 1.3 metres shorter than something like a Mini Cooper, the Smart is a two-seater with pretty much all of it passenger space, and a display grille up front, and side windows that also project information. Inside there is no steering wheel or pedals, and the vehicle functions are controlled solely by a mobile phone or using voice. Instead of a dashboard, there is a 24-inch screen and a bench seat with a folding armrest.

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Smart designers refer to the concept as a “one-and-a-half box” design, featuring short overhangs and wide wheel arches for stumpy, fun proportions. It almost looks too bad that there’s no steering wheel.

By 2022 more than ten new cars – EQs and Smarts – are green-lit for production at Mercedes-Benz, from compacts to the large SUVs. The first EQ-branded production car will be an SUV and it’s due for launch in 2019.

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