The hotel of the future will soon be here… just make sure you’ve reserved a parking space for it.
For it seems that driverless hotel suites could be hitting the road some time soon(ish), giving future travellers the chance to explore destinations without having to get out of bed as they are transported from doorstep to check-in by the automated rooms.
At least, that’s the award-winning proposal to have emerged from this year’s Radical Innovation Awards – the same institution that last year released the concept of a trans-American hyperloop hotel.
Revealed at the RIA ceremony, which took place recently in New York, the Autonomous Travel Suite (ATS) would act as both hotel room and rental car. Guests would be provided with a bed, a small bathroom and luggage storage while their hotel ‘room’, using solar panels to harness energy, made its way to a docking facility, at which point the unit would extend into a full-size suite.
In suitably modern style, stays – and, by extension, pick-ups – could be booked via an APP, although whether we will see hotel rooms cruising the streets like Uber taxis has not yet been clarified.
The design was submitted by the Aprilli Design Studio from Los Angeles, which beat more than 50 other entries to walk away with the $10,000 prize.
“The goal of our Radical Innovation community is to create entirely new segments of the travel and hospitality industries,” said John Hardy, founder of Radical Innovation.
“The Autonomous Travel Suite is the perfect example of this – utilizing sustainable technology as a travel solution that best serves the consumer of tomorrow.”
Second place (and US$5,000) was awarded to Varinot & Varinot Architectes for its Aquaponic Experience Hotel: a concept that, in the glibbest of terms, involves a cycle of gathering rainwater, feeding it into an aquarium, using the waste water – filled with fish nutritional excrement – to hydrate a handful of vertical farms on-site, then feeding the purified run-off back into the system.
Top prize for the student category was carried by Daniel Czyszczoń and Michał Witalis of Kracow University of Technology, whose idea for a detachable segment of hotel room that could autonomously transport guests to and from the airport – dubbed the Room Extension Solution – earned a $1,500 award.
With two top gongs for self-driving suites, it seems the days of the static hotel room may be numbered.