Smart shows ‘robot taxi’ packed with new ideas
Smart shows at the Frankfurt motor show the Smart Vision EQ For Two, a concept of a ‘robot car’ loaded with interesting ideas which like headlights with screens to communicate with the outside world and projectors to create a zebra crossing among others. It will be used in the future autonomous cars of Daimler and Smart.
For Daimler it is important to create an autonomous car because it can be used for its Car2Go car sharing platform. In 2025 Daimler wants to have the first autonomous taxis on the road.
This concept has a length of only 2,69 meter which is as long as the initial Smart that was launched, back in 1998. The concept has a round form which was possible because of the electric drive that is smaller compared to a combustion engine.
The doors swinging upwards can open in very narrow parking spaces and the side panels are made from glass. They can be translucent but the car can also project news headlines or the weather report at the screens on the sides.
Projecting zebra crossing
The concept car is clearly more evolved compared to the Google autonomous car prototype because Smart found a solution for the communication with other road users. The car manufacturer replaced the headlamps and grill with ‘virtual eyes’ and a ‘mouth’ equipped with led screens to be able to project messages and communicate with other traffic participants. The car can also project signs on the road, for example a zebra crossing to make clear it is safe to cross the street.
Users can order the car by an app and because this ‘robot taxi’ has a very precise navigation system, it can even recognize the person who called for the car by this the smartphone, in a pack of people waiting at a train station exit.
In the interior there is no steering wheel, nor pedals. However, the interior should be quite pleasant because it will be personalized for the user. On the screen “Hello Frank” will be seen, next to the profile photo of the user. Also personal setting such as temperature, infotainment or ambient light will be adapted to the preferences of the user
It has pumps with a disinfecting gel for the passengers who want to clean their hands and all surfaces are in artificial white leather that can be cleaned very easily. After all the ‘robot taxi’ will be used by many different people very day.
“This personal link is important because this might be the car parents will use to bring their kids to school or the sports club, as is shown by several consumer studies”, adds Annette Winkler, Smart CEO.