A prototype of a vehicle designed by engineering company MBtech provides a glimpse of future urban individual mobility. Link & Go 2.0, as the prototype was named, has been showcased at the Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle has no steering wheel; instead, it offers all conceivable digital whistles and bells.
Designed for urban scenarios and inspired by the concepts of carpooling and car sharing, Link & Go 2.0 is actually more a taxi than a means of individual mobility as we know it. But the definitions of individual and collective mobility are blurring anyway. The operating concept of Link & Go 2.0 makes them almost disappear: The car can be ordered via smartphone (across its Facebook site) and then drives automatically to the customer to pick him up. Having transported the passenger to his destination, experience-based algorithms make the vehicle to head for places where the statistic likelihood to pick up another passenger is the highest.
The vehicle is designed for automated driving -- no manual driving mode is provided. Instead, it is equipped with a touch panel where the user can express his desires with regards to destination, driving style, or stopovers through gestures. The electronic chauffeur has a range of sensors at its disposal, including 360 degree laser scanners and cameras to steer safely even through pedestrian precinct, says MBTech, by the way of a joint subsidiary of carmaker Daimler and French engineering company AKKA Technologies.
Of course, such a vehicle is driven electrically -- a hub drive is integrated into all four wheels, and all four wheels are steerable for better maneuverability. While the user is completely unburdened from the task of driving, he (or she) can make use of the extensive connectivity the vehicle provides. Link & Go 2.0 enables them to surf the internet, watch videos on built-in screens, or read and write emails. The lithium-ion batteries provide a range of some 200 km, and as soon as the vehicle notices that its batteries have to be recharged, it autonomously heads for the charging station.
This story originally appeared on EE Times Europe.