Here’s how Daimler is evolving its tiny Smart car for self-driving

Concept embraces sharing, self-driving and electric drive.

There is a lot of the future packed into the tiny footprint of the Smart Vision EQ fortwo Concept.

First, consider it as an evolution of the recognizable Smart-car shape that is a fixture of crowded European cities, or as a white and blue Car2Go vehicle. That’s the sharing aspect right there, as Daimler wants to grow its pool of 2.6 million car-sharing customers while people continuously weigh whether they actually need to own a car for daily functions.

Step inside and one thing eventually sticks out: there are no controls. The autonomous aspect of the Smart EQ concept is that it lacks a steering wheel and conventional pedals. Previous Daimler and Mercedes-Benz concepts have experimented with joysticks and other non-conventional ways to operate driving functions, but this is a clear sign Daimler, at least, can see that the self-driving car of the future probably doesn’t need to be set up like a driver’s car.

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