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CWT Traveler

January 2019

A self-driving hotel room

Yes, you read that correctly: The Canadian company Aprilli Design Studio is working on a cross between a hotel room and a self-driving vehicle, called “Autonomous Travel Suite (ATS)”. Inventor Steve Lee has combined his experience in architecture and hotel design with his passion for futuristic technology in this hotel room on wheels.

The hybrid concept won the Radical Innovation Award and could revolutionize travel, according to Lee. While car designers consider self-driving vehicles as an advanced version of conventional cars, Lee sees them more as a mobile room or place to stay.

The ATS is designed for journeys lasting between six and ten hours, and is equipped with everything a traditional hotel room has and more: a sleeping space, a work space, a tiny kitchen, a toilet and shower as well as an "entertainment zone" for movies and games. It will be available in different sizes, for singles, couples and families. Even pets are allowed.

Travelers can control the suite using an app to select the starting point and destination of their journey or add stopping-off points. Steve Lee’s idea is that the system will work out the best route. The vehicles can be operated by a chain of "autonomous hotels" that provide accompanying services (maintenance, water provision and waste removal, etc.). It is not yet clear how the ATS will be powered – electric or fuel cell engines are conceivable.

But all this is still a long way off. Production could theoretically start in 2021, but it will take much longer before the necessary infrastructure is in place – at least a decade, according to Lee’s estimation. However, the idea is so interesting that it might just be worth the wait.


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