Last year in the German city of Ulm, Daimler started up an experimental car-sharing system called car2go. It incorporated a fleet of 50 smart fortwos, that users could pick up in various locations, drive as long as they wanted, and then leave within the city. Ulm’s program is now up to 20,000 members and 200 cars, while a youngersister project in Austin, Texas, is up to 10,000 members. Given that success, Daimler has just announced a new “car2go edition” of the fortwo, designed specifically for use in the program. We got a look, at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
The car2go system allows cars to be spontaneously rented on-the-spot, or booked up to 24 hours in advance via a mobile phone or the Internet. No human contact or paperwork was necessary – available cars could be located through the web or by telephone, an electronic chip added to members’ licenses would unlock the car, the driver would then enter their PIN, drive way, and receive a monthly bill for each minute of use.
The new car2go edition fortwos are based on the smart fortwo mhd, and marks a switch from diesel to petrol for the program. Another thing that distinguishes the car2go edition is its large touchscreen control unit, which is part of the new telematics hardware that is optimized for the program.
As the press release states: