You have already heard of driverless cars and numerous weird electric vehicles but what about if your next journey to work on an autonomous vehicle included a coffee shop, lounge, store, or conference room? NEXT, a technology startup, believes this is the logical evolution of transportation: a modular system that can be reconfigured to fit any circumstance on the go.
The NEXT design, which currently exists only as a concept, envisions a “swarm” of identical vehicles resembling boxes on wheels. Each unit is about the size of a modern Smartcar, seating six passengers, but with enough room inside for people to stand comfortably. The boxes can conjoin or separate even while in motion. When they link up, doors at front and rear fold out of the way, creating a larger space for the riders and allowing them to change seats. By linking together, NEXT saves space on the road, and requires no special infrastructure such as tracks to run. The system also self-optimizes, seating passengers in the most effective configurations so pods can separate and detour when necessary. It also gives companies another opportunity to sell to you! Maybe ill stick to the bus.