Flipping through an issue of Dwell at the airport, I came across a fascinating article on the design of the ATNMBL or Autonomobile, a concept for driving in the year 2040. Why is this fascinating? For ages, driving hasn't really changed. Cars even look the same year after year. I am hard pressed to tell if a car I am admiring is the latest model or was released ten years ago. San Francisco designers Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers took their cues from how we use technology in creating the ATNMBL. GPS devices and social networking sites were considered as they developed a driving experience centered around not driving. You provide the ATNMBL with coordinates and it takes you where you want to go. The cool part is what happens while you get there. The computer in the car acts as chauffeur while you relax in an interior that resembles a Zaha Hadid living room, freeing up time to work or catch up with friends. And the size of the car is comparable to those on the road today. Imagine being able to actually tell your car where to go and have it not only take you there but also retain directions like we store contacts on our phones. And you can create a network of trusted friends and family that can use your car when you've been dropped off.
The design concept reminds me of the cars from Minority Report, driving along a computerized MAG-LEV system developed by Lexis which uses electrical/magnetic energy. Haven't seen the movie? Rent it! By the far the closest we've come to envisioning the future. There is something very realistic about the approach of this new ATNMBL concept as well. I can see similar cars on the road in the near future and how cool with that be? Check out the Dwell article for more information on the design of the ATNMBL.
Images from core77