London designers unveil the “quarter car” autonomous concept

Industrial design and innovation company Seymourpowell has revealed details of Quarter Car, which is an autonomous vehicle with four segregated luxury pods. The idea is people can share mobility whilst having their own personal space.

Seymourpowell says the concept “envisions the future of the digital ride hailing economy and shared transport through a personalised, autonomous travel experience.”

The company has a long history of innovation in the rail and aviation industries which it says it’s using for the Quarter Car “with passenger experience at the very core of its purpose as an interior led vehicle, prioritising internal volume over traditional aerodynamic design.”

Its publicity blurb reads, “The space is defined by retractable partitions through two central axes of the vehicle, which allows the segmentation of the interior into four individual and sellable ‘spaces’, giving service providers the ability to address the needs of a variety of passengers simultaneously within one vehicle.”

Jonny Culkin, Designer at Seymourpowell, commented, A key issue within the digital ride hailing business model is the inefficiency generated from the number of empty seats during journeys. We have identified this as the ‘Uber Pool’ problem, where despite cost based incentives, passengers are unwilling to share their journey with other users. It is a significant challenge for vehicle manufacturers and ride hailing services to overcome in order to unlock revenue and efficiency growth potential.

“Vehicles like Quarter Car will lead the way in defining a trend of ‘Private Shared’ vehicles; adaptable spaces that will improve business metrics and passenger experience in one hit.”


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