November 24, 2018

Where's the seat belt?

"The robotic hotel room on wheels - is this the future of travel? Self-driving suite can ferry guests from place to place - and drones deliver room service through the sunroof/Toronto-based Aprilli Design Studio has designed a hotel suite housed within a self-driving vehicle/Renderings reveal how the battery-powered hotel-room-on-wheels includes a double bed and shower room/The vehicle's designers note that travellers would simply specify the route they wanted to take via an app" (Daily Mail).

I think the future of travel is more likely to be you stay in your stationary room-pod where you live and all the travel destinations of the world are brought to you instantly by virtual reality technology. But, sure, a drone brings you "room service"... to the room you never leave.

19 comments:

rhhardin said...

Lazlo Toth, in the first Lazlo Letters book, proposed a Whip Inflation Now idea of mobile shopping centers that would come to you, and got a participation award.

Danno said...

So the future is the Jetson's, all over again?

Michael McNeil said...

I think the future of travel is more likely to be you stay in your stationary room-pod where you live and all the travel destinations of the world are brought to you instantly by virtual reality technology. But, sure, a drone brings you “room service”… to the room you never leave.

… As was almost exactly forecast way back in 1957 by Isaac Asimov in his science fiction novel (part of his Robot series) The Naked Sun — a SF detective story about a planet (“Solaris”) in which all this is true; this book in turn is a sequel to The Caves of Steel, concerning the cities of Earth at the time.

bwebster said...

It's really just a self-driving RV, though a bit smaller and more futuristic. Fun idea, but unlikely to ever come to pass -- a bit like those city centers that were going to be redesigned so everyone would use Segways instead of cars.

As for your last comment: read "The Machine Stops" (1909!) by E. M. Forster. He envisioned what you described nearly a century ago.

Ann Althouse said...

Where's the seat belt?

You can't just hang out inside a vehicle as if it's not moving. You can't just get into bed and sleep or have sex in the usual way. You can't use the toilet and shower!

It's possible that once everything is self-driving (how long will that take?) there will never be accidents again and seat belts will become obsolete.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I could see an interest in something like this, where you can sleep while you travel past what you don't want to see, then can stop, get out, and explore the areas that interest you.
However, it would have to be much smoother and much safer than you will see anytime soon from self-driving vehicles, and would only make sense for certain routes. At which point, it makes more economic sense to have sleeper cars on railroads. And those don't make enough sense to have significant ridership

sinz52 said...

A self-propelled miniature hotel room doesn't seem all that different from the luxury railroad cars that wealthy people used to own and attach to trains in the 19th century. (And before Air Force One, the President used to have his own luxury railroad car to travel.)

However, as others have pointed out, your frame of reference inside the car will take some getting used to. Railroad sleeping cars used to have showers. But when you showered, it would seem that the stream of water was swinging back and forth (actually it was the railroad car that was curving back and forth). Drop a piece of soap and it wouldn't appear to fall in a straight line. And in bed, you would seem to be rocking back and forth too. This sort of thing can give susceptible people motion sickness.

whitney said...

I travel all over the world from my home also with a great new technology called books and the coolest thing about them is you can also travel through time. Crazy!

William said...

I've travelled by train in a sleeping compartment. It's very pleasant. You lay on your bunk, listen to music, and look at the lonely farmsteads. When you're on a train that passes by in the night, you wonder about what it would be like to have a settled life on a lonely farmstead.....Sleeping compartment on a train is a good way to travel but nothing beats teleportation. I hope they get the bugs out of that device soon.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

You can't just get into bed and sleep or have sex in the usual way. You can't use the toilet and shower!

sounds like my ex.

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reader said...

This makes me think of the scene in The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball in which she tries to cook in the trailer while it's moving.

Sam L. said...

Where are the blinds and/or drapes?

jaydub said...

“I travel all over the world from my home also with a great new technology called books...”

Not really. You're merely visualizing a given place based on a narrative description that someone constructed based on his own itinerary, impressions, interests and even prejudices, so your experience is limited not only by the author's own experience but also by his ability to accurately interpret and describe what he thinks he, himself, experienced. Just as five different witnesses to a crime are likely to have five different interpretations of what actually occurred, five different visitors to a given location are sure to come away with five different interpretations of what they saw and none of them would have seen the exact same things or had the same interpretation as your book's author. Besides, travel is also about smells, sounds, food, interactions with the inhabitants, cultural revelations and personal discoveries so it is impossible to get the same understanding of a place from a book that you get from actually sensing it yourself – too many details are omitted in a written narrative. My wife and I travel a lot, but we don't go to the same places or do the same things as most tourists because we don't travel as tourists. For example, last spring when our friends went to Paris and Provence, we took self-guided driving trips to Saint-Emilion to visit the wineries and then visited the Hundred Years' War sites along the Dordogne Valley in the Aquitaine, followed by taking the trail of the Cathars from Beziers to Carcassonne and on to their last bastions in the Languedoc Pyrenees where the French popes finally slaughtered them as heretics. Along the way we stayed in some very picturesque towns, met some great people, learned a lot about the history of Southern France and enjoyed some great food and wine. Plus, we did the trip economically and we were able to wear shorts the whole time. Reading about a place is certainly worthwhile, but it's a poor substitute for experiencing it yourself.

Lucien said...

Ann: Regarding seatbelts, etc., you'd be able to do anything you could now do in an RV with Meade driving.

Yancey Ward said...

"It's possible that once everything is self-driving (how long will that take?) there will never be accidents again and seat belts will become obsolete."

The need for sudden stops isn't going to be eliminated- ever.

Yancey Ward said...

There is reason most people spend all their time seated when traveling on a bus, a plane, or a train- it is called motion sickness- a malady that, for me and most others, is magnified greatly by moving within the vehicle itself. What we really need are inertial dampeners, but those might not even be possible.

Gahrie said...

What gives California the right to force me into wearing a seatbelt? Besides force I mean.

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