In the modern world we were already on the road to social isolation, even on public transport. Headphones and earphones, low gazes, zero dialogue. With the era of individual autonomous transport, journeys risk becoming a large space of solitude.
How to find a compromise between the fact that we will travel in single autonomous cabins and the need for social interaction? Concept Bubble is not a simple autonomous vehicle: it is a visionary project that explores alternatives.
Concept Bubble, the autonomous vehicle becomes a hive
A future in which autonomous vehicles are designed in such a way that they can also join in formation to put individual passengers in contact is possible, at least in theory, with the advent of artificial intelligence to manage journeys.
The designer's Concept Bubble Chuan Jiang brings us closer to that future, with the aim of breaking down social barriers and transforming the largest number of vehicle-focused road spaces today into human spaces.
The concept provides many insights, and makes even more sense in anticipation of a context in which car manufacturers will shift the focus to mobility services.
Like soap bubbles
Concept Bubble represents the idea itself. The designer was inspired by the observation of a promiscuous material. A foam, to be precise: the soap bubbles, separated from each other, merge putting one or more sides in common. This is the principle behind this bidirectional autonomous vehicle: it can move by itself, but if necessary it also merges with others, and can do so by criterion. For example, filter out people who go to the same place (or share enough road) and want to talk about the same topic, or have similar interests.
In the era of autonomous transport, which is imagined as real mobile rooms, Concept Bubble is designed to wrap the passenger in comfort. A relaxed driving position and padded seat that moves 360 degrees offer great flexibility in social interactions with other passengers.
The autonomous pod is networked to all the other "Bubble riders". They are part of a fleet, but they are also an entire social network that moves.
A frontier vision that makes us reflect on all the possible configurations that space and “liquid” time will put us in front of, in an almost indestructible melange of physical and digital.