There are a lot of people out there who are seeing a significant percentage of their expected lifespan being eaten up by transit time. As a result, it is no wonder that interested parties are coming up with a wide range of products and services to make transit time less wasteful for interested individuals. With that said, some of these products and services are much stranger than others, with an excellent example being what the Toronto-based Aprilli is calling the Autonomous Travel Suite.
For those who are curious, the Autonomous Travel Suite is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Essentially, it is supposed to be an autonomous vehicle that will double as a fully-functional suite in which users can eat, sleep, visit the washroom, and otherwise get some productive use out of their transit time. Moreover, Aprilli envisions a future in which these Autonomous Travel Suites will be capable of linking up with a network of hotel facilities, which can offer their occupants an even wider range of amenities than otherwise possible.
Is There Demand for the Autonomous Travel Suite?
Of course, it should be mentioned that this is nothing more than a concept at the moment. As a result, there are a lot of steps that must be completed before it can be brought into existence. Some of these steps are the same kinds of challenges that face most new revenue-earning operations. In contrast, others are even more complicated in nature.
For example, even if building Autonomous Travel Suites was possible, there is the issue of whether there is sufficient interest to support such a thing or not. The cost of building Autonomous Travel Suites won’t be cheap. Never mind the cost of building Autonomous Travel Suites as well as the network of hotel facilities that Aprilli has envisioned. Theoretically, investors could be convinced to provide sufficient funding for a hypothetical business to launch such a system before keeping it running long enough for it turn a profit. However, that kind of investment will need a lot of willingness to bet on the concept, which in turn, means that the people behind the hypothetical business will have to come up with convincing evidence for its eventual profitability. Something that can’t be produced without a considerable amount of time, effort, and other resources being poured into investigating the issue.
With that said, there is an even bigger challenge in the fact that Autonomous Travel Suites can’t be built using current capabilities. Simply put, there is enormous interest in autonomous vehicles, which is why a wide range of entities that include some of the most powerful corporations on the planet are pouring huge amounts of resources into such research efforts. However, none of them have managed to make a fully-functional autonomous vehicle so far, meaning that it will take some time before even the best technologies can enable something along the lines of what Aprilli is envisioning. For that matter, it should be mentioned that Autonomous Travel Suites won’t be the same kind of vehicle as what most interested parties are working on when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Something that is bound to mean even more time needed to make such capabilities compatible with what Autonomous Travel Suites would need.
Having said this, the Autonomous Travel Suite isn’t impossible. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that there seems to be some interest in the basic concept, seeing as how Aprilli isn’t the sole party that has come up with something along these lines. For instance, IKEA has come up with the concept of autonomous vehicles conveying other rooms, with examples ranging from miniature greenhouses to what amounts to pop-up stores.
Due to this, while there is no real reason to believe that Autonomous Travel Suites will be hitting the market anytime soon, we could be seeing something along these lines hitting the market at some point within a few decades. Transit time really is very wasteful. As a result, so long as people continue to need to move from place to place, it seems perfectly reasonable to speculate that interested parties will come up with more and more ways to make such periods less wasteful for interested individuals.