Mercedes Benz’ Smart Car – The Shape of Things to Come
If you’re one of those people who are consistently on the hunt for the smallest, most maneuverable car you can find, get ready. Should you be completely lacking any level of parallel parking skills, there are now several makes of cars you can buy that essentially park themselves. Or, you can just take a closer look at the Mercedes Benz Smart Car and get a car that can alter its shape – although it won’t necessarily alter the size of your auto insurance premium.
What it can do, however, is drive sideways, change its size, and change its shape to accommodate almost any challenging parking situation. If that sounds intriguing, then the truly smart, tiny, shape shifting EO Smart Connecting Car 2 could be the car of the future for you.
The reason it’s considered a car of the future is because, at present, it’s just a prototype. But, as a research project from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, the EO 2 is designed for crowded cities where rush hours are nightmares and parking is nearly non-existent. It also gives solid proof of how some of the innovations incorporated into the EO 2 could lead to intelligent, flexible cars. Now, what could be better than that?
Imagine – cars that drive themselves, cars that park themselves, and cars that can analyze a situation and morph into the best shape to fit into the smallest parking spot.
With its white paint job, large windows, and butterfly doors, the all-electric EO 2 not only looks futuristic, but it drives like it, too. All four of the EO 2’s wheels have the capability to rotate 90 degrees. Once the wheels are turned perpendicular to the car’s body, the vehicle can spin in a perfect circle, as well as drive sideways, eliminating the need to parallel park.
Even if you possess excellent parking skills, quite often the spot is too small for your car and you have to drive on. At approximately 1,653 pounds (about the same curb weight as a Smart car), the EO 2 is designed to compress its body, with the panels sliding up and slightly over each other in a crab-like fashion. The body size can then shrink down from 8.2 feet to 4.9 feet, all the while keeping its four wheels on the pavement.
But, that doesn’t seem to be enough for German researchers who want to reinvent commuting. Their plan is another concept called “Platoon”, in which they envision an EO 2 connecting with another EO 2 to create a virtual train of cars. The added benefit for drivers in a connected EO 2 Platoon is that they can actually take their hands off the steering wheel as the electric car transfers into a fully autonomous mode.
As of yet, there has been no word from the German researchers or Mercedes Benz when, or if, the future self-driving EO 2 will be made available to consumers.
While you may have to wait to drive your very own morphing vehicle, you don’t want to wait to make sure you’re getting the cheapest auto insurance in California. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Would you buy an EO 2 if they became available for consumers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.