Text by Yasuhiro Yamashita
Two weeks ago I had a chance to try Mercedes Smart which was scheduled to be previewed at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Now that the show ended, I am allowed to share my pictures and writing the report.
Mercedes said that the concept of this car resembles the micro-homes I design in Tokyo.
My concept of small architecture is made up of three keys.
1) Creating a “NU-KE (noo-kay)”, visual and psychological connections between interior and exterior to give a feeling of expansion of space.
2) Think in cross section. Though it is small in the area alone, when you consider it in three dimensions the space becomes wider and richer.
3) Unify colors and textures. When same colors and similar textures are used, optical illusion occurs, and you feel the space wider than it actually is.
These three concepts were so similar to the concept of Smart that Mercedes’ people were surprised.
In addition to this concept, the great thing about this car is like a “flying carpet” expressing the next generation.
There is no steering wheel, the glass not only becomes transparent, but also turns into an information board. There still were safety belts, but it will not be necessary, because car accidents will not occur in the future. Even though I’m not very enthusiastic about cars, I was so astonished, the car lovers would be more excited.
The kids from the neighborhood were also happy to get into the car, which is the only existing one in the world.
I heard about the possibility of this car being actually seen in Tokyo around 2025 and 2030 or later, hindered by the laws of Japan. Words fail me… can’t we see them sooner?