The French car manufacturer Citroën presented its Urban Collëctif range, created as part of a partnership with the hotel conglomerate Accor and the outdoor advertising corporation JCDecaux, report from MotorTrend reveals.
This eclectic combination of companies has produced a series of custom pods that attach to an autonomous modular driving platform. The concept aims to increase the comfort of urban mobility, while allowing a number of companies to provide their services on the road.
“Autonomous and for everyone”
IN press release, Citroën claims that its cars are a vision of ‘urban mobility of tomorrow’, which they say is ‘autonomous for all’. This future vision includes pods in which people can relax or exercise as an autonomous system transports them around the city. The machines will be constantly on the move, a swarm of autonomous machines, each of which will go where needed, and will change the pods according to the needs of its users.
“The model relies on a fleet of Citroën Skate transport robots that run non-stop in cities and are combined with pods that promise unique experiences,” says Citroën. “Citroën Skate is the carrier and transporter of mobility. The floor attached to The Citroën Skate allows its users to enjoy their favorite services whenever they want.”
All pods will be mounted on board Citroën’s autonomous chassis, called Skate, which is currently in the concept stage. If it ever becomes a reality, it will use omnidirectional wheels called the Eagle 360 from Goodyear, and will use sensors for autonomous driving as well as wireless induction charging.
Modular machines on request
Citroën’s approach adds flexibility and modularity to the concept of autonomous vehicles providing transport on demand in the future. As this vision would mean fewer car owners in the future, Citroën says its “new model for shared autonomous mobility” will “help beautify cities and improve comfort”. The company also envisions many different creative collaborations with various companies, including Sofitel En Voyage, a luxury hotel space on wheels. Another pod, called Pullman Power Fitness, will feature a rowing machine and a bicycle machine.
Although the concept of skate has the potential to improve urban mobility, it is not difficult to imagine a dystopian scenario in which such concepts flood the sector, turning it into a highly consumer-focused affair in which daily travel is hijacked by companies selling their services to wheels. As such, the Citroën Skate platform could open up urban mobility and commuting as an entirely new way for companies to provide their services to the world, for better or for worse.
In any case, in order for Citroën’s vision to come true, autonomous driving still has a long way to go, as carmakers have yet to achieve autonomy third level on the roads – and the rock rises to six. However, this is a captivating, unusual vision from the French company. Citroën is not the first to offer modular platform for the future, although perhaps the former will offer an open source approach, which would mean that any company could provide a service during transportation, such as advertising or even fitness machines for citizens who go from point A to point B.