Imagine a world where you no longer fly between your house and your hotel. You drive there. Or more accurately, your hotel room drives you there.
That is the world that Steve Lee, of Los Angeles-based Aprilli Design Studio, is developing for us all. His Autonomous Travel Suite (dumb name, cool concept) has been designed as a hotel/self-driving car hybrid that plans to take guests from door to door.
The design has already made it as a finalist in the 12th annual hotel design competition from Radical Innovation, a group of hospitality and design experts who invest in transformative industry technology, and each ATS is essentially one room of a larger Autonomous Hotel. Once one arrives with a guest to the hotel, the car-suite enters a loading dock and locks into a larger ‘Parent Suite;’ the two then combine to form a standard room connected to the main building, which will have amenities like a gym and restaurant. The more ATS’s that dock, the larger the hotel becomes. Sort of like a puzzle. Or a Transformer (named Hotelatron, obviously).
The mobile rooms themselves sound snug, but not too shabby—like a well-edited RV that drives itself. According to Curbed, they’ll have memory foam mattresses, bathrooms, mini kitchens, mini bars and even a separate sitting area for work or relaxing. TV’s can also be installed, and the rooms will allegedly range in size to accommodate everyone from single travelers to whole families. The cars get juiced up once docked at the hotels, which double as charging stations, though for now there’s no word on how long the battery will last (we doubt you’ll be Autonomousing-it from Los Angeles to New York any time soon).
A true positive is that it’ll cancel out the hassles of flying (delays, baggage fees, the ever-shrinking bathrooms and seats). A risk: you might want to check out before even arriving at the main hotel. Either way, we’ve got plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons as Radical Innovation will announce the winner October 3. The $10,000 prize money could be the only green light this car needs.