Why dial an Uber, when you can simply request an autonomous car to pick you up instead?
For a company that uses the word 'smart' in its name, the Mercedes-owned compact car maker hasn't necessarily conjured up a legitimately clever car. For sure, the initial idea behind the Smart ForTwo urban runabout was novel, but little else has since has stood out in an industry that's constantly on the prowl for the next big trend. That may be about to change, though, with the ownership prospect being proposed by the new Smart vision EQ fortwo concept car.
The aesthetics are very clearly of an electric car that won't be whirring its way off a production line anytime soon, but the car sharing lifestyle it so clearly promotes does have real-world potential. As well being quite viable in this day and age (the two largest car sharing companies in the world, car2go and zipcar, have close to four million registered users between them), the level 5 autonomous capabilities of the Smart vision EQ would further streamline the whole procedure. Instead of picking the car up, the EQ fortwo would simply drive to the user's current location, drop them off at their destination, then make its way to a charging point or storage location until it's required again.
Of course, the autonomous capabilities being proposed via the Smart vision EQ fortwo are some way off from being a practical reality, as are the infrastructure requirements and potential legal framework for when vehicles in self-driving car sharing schemes become a legitimate venture. But a future along those lines is on the horizon, and (as we've already discussed with the Mercedes-Benz EQA Concept) Daimler AG is committed to advancing its electric and autonomous drive technologies. So, whilst the Smart vision EQ fortwo is currently an I, Robot-esque fantasy, there's potential of this concept could be untapped in the not too distant future.