Mercedes-Benz has revealed an autonomous, two-seater concept car under its Smart nameplate.
Dubbed the “vision EQ fortwo”, and based on a car sharing model, the design study is envisioned for the year 2030; it is the first vehicle from the German manufacturer to completely do away with a steering wheel and pedals.
Measuring 2699 mm long, 1720 mm wide and 1535 mm tall, the car features a”one-and-a-half box” design complete with doors that pivot wing-like over the rear axle. The designers claim the door concept also reduces the danger of collision with cyclists and pedestrians.
Summoned using a mobile device, the concept vehicle picks up its passengers directly from their chosen location, with users being able to recognise that it is “their” vehicle via messages displayed on the black panel grille at the front as well as on the large projection surfaces at the sides; if the car is unoccupied, information about local events, the weather, news or the time can even be displayed on the doors.
Those who want can use the “1+1” sharing function to make contact with other potential users; the latter are suggested on the basis of their saved profiles and current travel plans, and can be accepted or rejected.
On the inside, the lounge-like bench seat also incorporates a retractable centre armrest that creates a separation between the occupants or, alternatively, serves as a stowage facility.
The dashboard, meanwhile, is replaced by a 24‑inch screen which is surrounded by a rose gold-coloured frame. The outer edges feature two smaller four-inch displays, which can be used by the car, for example, to say “Welcome”.
“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 design boss, Gorden Wagener. “A multiplicity of digital surfaces inside and outside allows the next level of communication between human and automobile.”
The design study will make its official public debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.