The End of Driving: Mike and Maaike introduce the Autonomobile
The industrial design firm Mike and Maaike, which worked on such products as the Xbox and the HTC G1 phone, has turned its sights towards the car, reenvisioning it as a living room on wheels. In an article for Core77 design magazine titled “The End of Driving: Mike and Maaike introduce the Autonomobile,” the designers suggest people don’t really want to drive, and could better spend their time on the road sleeping, working, or getting drunk. And they emphasize that last point.
Of course, the only driving they are considering is commuting and making grocery runs. As such, their Autonomobile does its own driving and navigation, asking its riders upon entry “Where can I take you?” As we’ve seen in past DARPA robotic car competitions, driverless car technology is being developed. The Autonomobile is designed as an electric car using four in-wheel motors, a battery pack in the floor, and a solar roof for additional power generation.
There is no real-world concept for the Autonomobile; it only lives in renderings. But from the images, the designers seem to have left out suspension components, possibly imagining the roads of the future will be perfectly smooth. Likewise, with its couch and floor-to-ceiling glass on each side, the Autonomobile wouldn’t pass current automotive safety standards, but the implicit prognostication seems to be that driverless cars won’t crash. And, considering that glass, people of the future will all be exhibitionists, not desiring privacy for their drunken trips.