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The Future of Automobility

“As we look ahead, we see self-driving delivery trucks—we call them 21st-Century mules—delivering everything from your new jeans to a hot lunch, almost instantly. After receiving notification that “Cody” has arrived, you’ll simply walk to the curb, do a biometric scan, and receive your package. No tips required.”

 

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Image courtesy of IDEO

 

Just one of the concepts proposed by global design and innovation firm IDEO in The future of automobility , a conceptual vision responding to the future of autonomous driving, on demand delivery services, and the future of the workspace. The concept is played as three scenarios illustrating semi-autonomous and fully autonomous vehicles and the roles they will play in our lives in the next fifteen years, from systemic, technological, and human-focused points of view.

 

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IDEO has won 38 Red Dot awards, 28 iF Hannover awards, and more IDEA awards than any other design firm. Ranked as of the most innovative companies in the world by Boston Consulting Group, IDEO approaches design as identifying new ways to serve people – imagine a Venn diagram where the overlap of desirability, viability, and feasibility gives birth to new design concepts.

 

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Recently the team imagined the future of automobility in terms of how we will get from point A to point B, how goods will be delivered, and how time is best used. For example, organizing delivery during off-peak hours to reduce traffic congestion, and “work-on-wheels” (WOW) services such as laundry or dentistry to bring services to the consumer. Imagining an imminent time when consumer confidence will drive transformation of current business models to embrace autonomous, green vehicles, IDEO envisages improved quality of life. High-capacity, clean energy power sources will provide connected and climate-controlled working spaces, and reduce climate impact. From a provider point of view, this means envisaging inductive charging stations and standardized use of electric power grid rather than petroleum, a win-win for both customer and provider.