Imagine how much money you could save on a multi-city vacation if your accommodations and mode of transportation were one and the same?
Introducing the robotic hotel room—or "Autonomous Travel Suite," more formally—an award-winning hospitality innovation concept by Toronto's own Aprilli Design Studio.
These futuristic mobile suites are essentially hotel rooms on wheels. Guests set the destination for their pod, but after that they can simply sit back, relax, sleep, work, play or anything else they so desire while travelling.
Designed for long-distance drives, the service would cover the full scope of door-to-door transportation, taking customers from their own homes to far-off destinations using autonomous driving technology.
Aprilli's website proposes that the system would run "like a joint operation between a rental car chain and hotel chain," noting that it would have properties in every city and within a 1- to 2-hour driving distance.
The vehicles were designed to function predominantly as compact hotel rooms, however, not cars. I'm talking double beds, desk space and even washroom facilities.
"It is a room that has the flexibility to customize the usage, scale, furnishings, appliances, and services," writes Aprilli.
"You can use the online app to select necessary features individually (like a cradle or tv screen, among others), and it will be delivered to your front door with all your needs."
Should they tire of life on the road, drivers would be able to dock at any of the network's hotel facilities.
Upon pulling in, their travel suite would open up into a much larger, stationary unit with access to amenities such as food, meeting rooms, a spa, a pool, a gym, housekeeping and maintenance services.
Being that the autonomous travel suites are electric vehicles, they will also be able to charge their room/cars here. If they run out of battery life en route to somewhere else, they'll be delivered. By drones.
"Batteries will be maintained by the Autonomous Hotel Facilities, and if you need replacement, the service vehicle will come and exchange your batteries with a new one," they write. "No need to wait, just plug in and charge the batteries."
It might sound a bit far-fetched at this point, but Aprilli believes that, when the technology to pull off this project is perfected, it could revolutionize the travel industry.
"Compared to domestic flights or train travels that require multiple steps of transfers and check-ins throughout the travel, Autonomous Travel Suite operates as your personal rental car and hotel room, providing unlimited flexibility and mobility at a cheaper cost," writes the design firm.
And they're not alone in their optimism. Apprilli's high-tech hotel concept took home this year's highly coveted Radical Innovation Award in New York City last month, wowing a jury that included hospitality development superstar John Hardy.
Bring on the age of 'transpitality,' I say. At the very least, it's going to be entertaining.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO