Daimler will bring 200 Smart ForTwos for the U.S. introduction, and today’s announcement coincides with the expansion of the pilot in Ulm, where the program has been opened to the public for the first time (until now it was limited to Daimler staff).
The project is essentially a car sharing program that charges users a small fee for each minute they use the vehicle regardless of distance traveled or fuel consumed. Following a one-off registration process that adds an encoded chip to the driver's license, the Smarts can be hired spontaneously in passing, or pre-booked and used for as long as desired. Available vehicles can be located via the internet or a telephone service hotline, and can be booked up to 24 hours in advance.
The aim is to ensure that an available vehicle is just a few minutes’ walk away at any time. The user simply gets in and can drive off straight away. Once the trip is completed, the user can park the borrowed Smart somewhere within the city limits.
A service team cleans the vehicles on a regular basis and handles all technical maintenance work, including filling the tank. However, customers can do this themselves in return for free minutes credited against their next trip.
Daimler says it will add electric vehicles to the fleet if this year’s trials prove successful. Another avenue for future development of the project is cooperation with train companies to offer parking spaces to car2go users, effectively enabling multimodal transport.Daimler car2go Smart ForTwo
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