When Smart cars first hit the market in the late 1990s, professionals pursuing automotive careers were very interested to see what affect they would have on the overall car market. Initially, they did make quite a few auto sales college graduates happy and gave people graduating from mechanic colleges something new to work on. But these tiny Smart cars were really just a niche product.
Now, thanks to a greater interest in protecting the environment and getting better fuel economy, as well of some advances in the industry, the Smart car is poised to go much more mainstream. Some are even thinking that it could be the future of driving.
The Smart Taxi
Smart cars have been the staple of car sharing services like Car2Go for a while now, but now they seem to be moving into the traditional taxi industry as well. There are quite a few Uber-style apps that offer a taxi service in major cities across the world, and now regular taxi companies are introducing Smart cars to their fleets.
There are quite a few reasons why they are doing it. Here are a few:
- Ideal for one person trips: Ever take a taxi somewhere by yourself and feel bad about burning all that fuel just to get two people (driver included) across town? Well, now it’s possible to take up only the room you need.
- More affordable: Because Smart cars burn less fuel (or in the case of electric smart cars, none at all), a cab ride saves the driver quite a bit of money, which can be passed on to clients. Also, because of their size, maneuvering through traffic can be much easier, so trips will take less time and ultimately cost less.
- Package transport: People frequently send packages, some of them very small, across town by cab. It can be quite the costly endeavour both financially and for the environment. Using a Smart cab instead could be the solution for this type of courier service.
Four Doors to the Future
One of the reasons the Smart car may not have gone completely mainstream quite yet, is the fact that it only has two doors and, more importantly, two seats. No matter how environmentally conscious someone is, if they have a family with kids, buying one just doesn’t make sense.
Now all that may change with the release of the Forfour, or rather the re-release. Smart did have a four-door version available from 2004 to 2006, but it didn’t do that well. This model, currently only available in Europe, has some advantages the other didn’t and may be here to stay. The new Fourfour offers:
- Exceptional agility thanks to the same rear-engine layout as the Smart Fortwo
- Great use of interior space to include four seats and four doors – not exactly roomy, but not cramped either
- A passenger seat that folds down for storage purpose
Do you think Smart cars are the future?