Smart shares its vision for the future with the driverless Vision EQ concept.
The Frankfurt Motor Show just got a little bit quirkier with this: Smart's driverless vision for the future, The Vision EQ ForTwo EV (yes, the future is unfortunately full of robot-sounding abbreviations so get used to it). The Daimler-owned Smart brand believes that we (meaning Silicon Valley?) will hail driverless cars like these one day in the near future with an Uber-type app.
And so? What's revolutionary about that?
Driverless cars are old news and are no longer confined to 'the valley', and the thought of a driverless car hailed by an app is nothing revolutionary, albeit relatively far off for South Africa still, but still, what is Smart going on about? What is different about this driverless EV compared to every other autonomous and electric car already on its way, most of which look far more practical and better than this? Well, from what we can see, the Vision EQ doesn't have a steering wheel, which is unique but that there is nothing to write home about.
So, let Gusheshe explain why concepts like these are still being produced, especially now in an ever more electric and autonomous world where outrageous designs like this now look like they're from 2004 and trying too hard to design a future based on iRobot.
Well, it's simple really: It's the same reason you opened this article. It looks momentarily interesting and car brands have to remain interesting and on the cusp of "what is in" to remain relevant. As such, this is Smart's rather cute and quirky attempt at doing so, and hopes that in the long term this quirkiness turns into car sales.
Of course, we can reasonably assume that driverless cars of the future will be as interesting as Uber's Corollas are today so don't be woo'ed (or put off) by the cosmic blue lighting (and futuristic looks) that seem an unnecessary gimmick to waste battery in a vehicle that is battery-powered. Like all major brands turning electric and autonomous, Smart is letting us know, through design, that it is also electrifying just in case you didn't hear of it and end up choosing a more electric-looking competitor sometime down the road.
Smart is certainly a strange brand and we're not quite sure where they fit in these days and how relevant they actually are. Perhaps an army of bright blue taxis is where they see themselves going and if that's the case, well, good luck to them.
But, do not fooled. This is not the future and Smart are smart enough to know it.