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Car sharing goes autonomous


Car sharing goes autonomous

Ian Kerr

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the smart vision EQ fortwo - an autonomous car built for car sharing. It's electric, autonomous, with neither steering wheel nor pedals.

The smart vision EQ fortwo (they'll have to come up with a snappier name!) picks up passengers directly at their preferred location. 

“The smart vision EQ fortwo has been rethought from the ground up, exclusively for comfortable transport from A to B in the city of the future," says Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"It is based on two principles that are actually mutually exclusive – sharing and personalisation. The passenger can pick someone else up along the way and share music, photos and the cost of the ride. That’s our idea of premium car sharing.”
- Dr Dieter Zetsche

Mercedes-Benz says the vehicles will travel in a swarm. Intelligent algorithms and artificial intelligence analyse usage patterns to ensure that the swarm moves at the right time to where vehicles will be needed.

Mercedes-Benz isn't the only manufacturer developing autonomous vehicles for car sharing. Ford last year announced its intention to deliver high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for car sharing in 2021.

What about in-car delivery?

Imagine the convenience: Your shopping is delivered to the boot of the autonomous car you've booked to take you home.

Could it happen? It would depend on an accurate, highly synchronised delivery process. The autonomous vehicle might have limited downtime between bookings - especially if it's travelling in a "swarm".

Didn't Mercedes-Benz launch another car?

Oh alright then. Here are some photos of the fancy new Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. But who in the postal sector could afford one?