Smart Shows Off Vision EQ Concept

2 months ago by Chris Bruce 3

Smart Vision EQ

The company debuts the Vision EQ Fortwo Concept and Brabus 15th Anniversary edition models at 2017 IAA.

Smart used this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show to look forward to the brand’s future with a concept, and to celebrate the firm’s past with an anniversary special edition.

The company’s Vision EQ ForTwo concept points to a prospective transition into an autonomous ride-sharing firm. The little vehicle adapts the firm’s modern styling into a more rounded futuristic shape. Rather than conventional doors, they rotate open. Traditional lights aren’t necessary because the concept is a purely autonomous vehicle; instead panels on the front and rear display messages to other people on the road.

Smart Vision EQ

Inside, there’re no pedals or steering wheel, which maximizes cabin space. Instead, a digital panel extends across the dashboard and lets occupants select where the vehicle should go.

Smart imagines the Vision EQ ForTwo as driving autonomously around cities in 2030. It would pack a 30 kilowatt-hour battery and inductive charging would allow for topping up the system without plugging in.

Smart Vision EQ

While a model like the Vision EQ ForTwo is decades away, you can get the Fortwo Brabus 15th Anniversary Edition of the Coupe and Cabrio. The models come in Anniversary Silver exterior paint and Espresso Brown leather. Limited to a total of 150 units, the Brabus 15th Anniversary Edition is available with the 89-horsepower (66-kilowatt) and 107-hp (80-kW) turbocharged engines, plus the 80-hp (60-kW) electric model of the coupe. The first units arrive around the end of the year.

Smart Brabus

Smart also updates the rest of its range with a few other additions. Active Brake Assist is now optional, and there’s Siri voice controls with the Smart Audio-System and Media-System packages. The electric models with the Cool & Media package can show nearby charging locations on the infotainment system. In addition, the Perfect Equipment Line option package includes fake leather and a mix of brown and black upholstery.

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3 responses to "Smart Shows Off Vision EQ Concept"

  1. spinit says:

    Looks nice but why would anyone buy this from Smart, it looks like it would take the Chinese a couple of hours to copy any unique features it had that were any good and then sell it to the company providing the autonomous fleet for a quarter of the price. These traditional vehicle manufacturers are going to have to try a lot harder.

  2. James P Heartney says:

    Smart is trying to leverage their current niche as maker of small two-seater cars. But I think the needs of autonomous fleets will need bigger-picture thinking.

    Autonomous fleet vehicles will need to be designed in a modular fashion – fleets will want 1, 2, 4, 6 and 10 person variants, with as much interchangeability as is practical to facilitate easy maintenance.

    When you call for your vehicle, you’ll specify the number of occupants and the destination, and the fleet will want to match your requirements as well as they can, whether it’s for a single occupant or for a party of x riders. The larger sizes could also be used for ride-sharing when users have nearby destinations.

    It’ll be to fleets’ advantage to be able to match vehicles dispatched to the user’s need. Sending a four-person vehicle to move one customer will be a waste of resources. And most of the demand will be for one or two occupant trips.

  3. Apple Black Glasses Millennial says:

    I’m TOTALLY parking this in front of my $4,500 studio in NEMA across from Twitter HQ. It will seriously boost my tech cred.

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