m02(1) Rise of the smart car: an electric vehicle that can power your home

Seamless smart phone integration and the ability to power your home are the key features the recently resurrected automaker Detroit-Electric is offering with its new production vehicle the SP:01.

With smart phones dominating the mobile market, the rise of the ‘smart car’ was probably inevitable. Meet the SP:01, a purely electric vehicle (EV) that puts our trusty little gadget at the forefront of the driving experience. Typical dashboard features and controls have been done away with completely and assigned to the dedicated app, dubbed SAMI, only confirmed for Android devices so far.

SAMI, or Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment, will give you access to the vehicle’s essential systems and some very innovative features. Stream music to the entertainment hardware, adjust the climate settings and interior lighting, navigate to your desired destination, and most importantly, get continuous feedback on your battery charge level, which will vary depending on your driving style, along with directions to the nearest charging spot when necessary. With the Emergency Energy Release option, which should also ensure that you never get stalled on the highway, SAMI will ease the problem of range anxiety that has played a significant role in discouraging widespread EV adoption.

l02 Rise of the smart car: an electric vehicle that can power your home

It still lacks the option to drive the car remotely, as with 007’s BMW in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’. Firmware upgrade perhaps?

Most of the functionality is available remotely; you can monitor your battery’s state of charge, locate your car if you’ve lost it in the shopping mall parking lot, and get the interior all warm and cozy (or cool and comfortable) before even entering it. The car’s most revolutionary feature however, as the automaker claims, is the bi-directionality of the electrical energy it stores. In addition to optimizing the charging process to take advantage of low rates, in the case of a power outage, SAMI will also give you the option to power your home from the battery pack for up to two days, effectively making your car an energy hub as well as a means of transport.

Detroit-Electric produced its first electric car in 1907, and was a market leader for a couple of decades; however by 1939, as petrol engines improved and became more affordable, the company lost momentum and shipped its final car. Under its new owner, the former CEO of Lotus Engineering Albert Lam, the company hopes to regain its former glory after a 74 year long hiatus with the SP:01, which along with the aforementioned features, is also poised to become the world’s fastest production electric vehicle when released in August.

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