How permanent of a scar do you think COVID will leave on our design sensibilities? Just a year ago, the design of Amazon's Zoox autonomous taxi startup vehicle would've looked appealing. The bi-directional robotaxi boasts generously-spaced ingress/egress, and seats that face each other so that you can talk to your fellow passengers:
In motion, the vehicle looks super-cool, and I love that the designers have deduced that such a car doesn't need to have a front or a back:
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However, now that we know the virus is transmitted through the air, I can't imagine strapping myself into an enclosed box with other people like this.
The pandemic hasn't given us enough time, as a society, to structurally redesign our spaces in reaction to it; the best we could do was put up plexi sheets, rather than modifying existing infrastructure. But with an object like Zoox's robotaxi, which was designed from the ground-up, do you think memories of the pandemic (even after we're all vaccinated) will provide subconscious resistance to uptake?
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