Remember the pre-2020 days? We’ll allow you a moment to cast your mind back to the halcyon days of hugging, clubbing and not barricading yourself in the house at the merest hint of a sore throat.
You there? Good. Well, remember how we were frequently told we’d all soon be ousted out of our cars and into shared mobility pod thingies to save the planet? According to Coventry University, it’s back on, even in a pandemic-afflicted world.
The vehicle you see here is the work of Professor Paul Herriotts, who’s reimagined the shared mobility pod thingy in light of, y’know, twenty-twenty.
“It’s only very recently that the future of transport seemed to be moving from personal transport to shared mobility,” says Professor Herriotts, “whether delivered by a scooter or cycle scheme or more futuristically by autonomous pods providing an on-demand service.
“But the world is now in a very different place and what recently seemed an appealing vision of the future now seems less attractive with our COVID-19 awareness.”
Which is where his design steps in. There’s no stitching on the seats, to make them easier to clean, while the handrails are made of copper – which has anti-viral properties – to make them safer to use.
An indicator on the outside displays how clean it is, and if they’re on green, the doors open touch-free as you approach. The interior is kept clean via UV light treatment between journeys, cleaning that calls on micro-robots rather than humans, for extra safety. Yep, we’re now at a point where ‘micro-robots’ is a phrase used to instil comfort, not fear. Quite a year, huh.
STORY Stephen Dobie