IDEO's known for forward thinking, and with their Automobility project, IDEO skipper Tim Brown shows what it really means to re-think something: Stepping back to reimagine not just transportation, but what we even use it for in the first place. The bulk of you travel to get to work; but what if you traveled inside of your workplace?
As confidence grows in autonomous ways of delivering goods and autonomous driving becomes more mainstream, a third stage of automobility will come into existence. It will involve inverse commutes, where working spaces come closer to where people live instead of commuters heading to pre-determined workplaces.
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The WOW concept is at least as fascinating as it is far-out. A Columbia University Earth Institute study cited in IDEO's research reveals that U.S. cities have some 600 million parking spaces taking up 10% of the available land. The proposal calls for turning these spaces into "Automobility work nexuses," where WOW vehicles could dock. Alternatively, the vehicles could travel to different locations depending on the work:
As more work moves to the digital realm, boardrooms and other traditional office infrastructure will be less necessary. For those times when face-to-face interaction is important, a WOW pod can provide a flexible space for workers to gather. WOW pods might occupy a location between two offices, splitting travel times for both teams, or could be parked by a site-specific project, like a building under construction or a gallery where an exhibition is being installed.
Read the entirety of the fascinating proposal here.