Smart concept car does away with doors, adds in skateboards

door less smart ev paints a clear picture of future urban mobility fourjoy

Could a door-less compact EV equipped with an electric skateboard be the next big thing in urban mobility?

It seems that the carmaker Smart thinks so along with no rear window and an open roof.

Gearing up for the Frankfurt International Motor Show, which opens Sept. 12, the Daimler AG company has released details about its Smart fourjoy, a concept designed around the idea, which is set to debut at the show.

The “free spirit” EV (my words, not theirs), which hints at some of the plans for Smart’s four-door production vehicle that launches next year,  is being touted as the future of Smart cars with an emphasis on families.

“The Smart fourjoy is the perfect icon of our Smart design philosophy that is being carried into a new era. For the first time we are showing the future sporty four-seater character of the new Smart family,” said  Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, in the company’s official press release. “The typical Smart silhouette, the clear lines and styling and also the further development of the Smart face make this study a modern design icon.”

Personally, I’ll hold off on crowing the car as a “design icon”, but the Smart fourjoy is a pretty interesting concept when it comes to what the future of urban mobility might look like.

smart four joy rear

Taking design cues from the first smart model series, much of Smart fourjoy’s styling elements are centered on the idea of unlimited open space. Without doors, a rear window or roof panel, the car gives both the driver and passengers a unique experience when traveling in the city. And possibly a dirty and damp experience at times as well.

The most distinctive elements of the vehicle are the two futuristic-looking front seats and the rear seat bench, which features a similar design. The interior also features two smartphones mounted on the dashboard and on the centre tunnel at the rear to keep all four passengers entertained and likely recharged.

Powered by a 55 kW magneto-electric motor, the Smart fourjoy’s drivetrain is based on the current Smart fortwo electric car, according to an official Daimler press release. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 17.6 kWh.

When completely empty, Daimler AG says it’ll take a maximum of seven hours to fully charge the battery at a household socket or charging station on the electricity systems of most countries, or in other words, overnight or all day at work.  Charging time at a wallbox or public charging station can be shortened to less than one hour with the 22 kW on-board charger and a rapid charging cable, likely on the Level II 240-volt system.

The Smart fourjoy is also equipped with two electric longboards fastened on the roof when there’s a need to cover short distances in the city. Helmets for the boards are stowed under the rear seats.  The helmets are also equipped with a high-def camera for filming when riding the skateboards to share the experience with friends on social networks.

Exactly how many elements of the car will make it into Smart’s fourseat production car remains to be seen, but I think the electric skateboards would definitely be a nice feature. 

Ultimate open-air city car or rolling safety hazard? Tell us how smart you think the Smart concept is in comments.

Smart Home

Colored fridges are back, baby! GE’s new appliances revive the 1950s trend

GE Appliances is coloring us surprised at KBIS 2019 by introducing new hues for its signature Cafe line of smart home appliances including four new hues launching this fall to complement its black and white options.
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
News

KBIS 2019: LG adds Tovala’s meal platform to its array of smart oven add-ons

LG Electronics USA is launching new partnerships at KBIS 2019, including a new app integration into its smart ovens that will add Tovala's meal delivery and preparation platform. LG also features partnerships with SideChef, Innit, and Drop.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.
Cars

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…
Cars

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.
Cars

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.
Cars

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.
Cars

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.
Cars

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.
Cars

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.