Revolutionising Urban Mobility
Mobjects are a new mobility service that creates a seamless urban moving experience. You can fluently hop-on and hop-off when the distance gets too far to walk, but too short to use another vehicle.
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There is an overlooked range of distances that are slightly too long to walk, but not long enough to take a cab, wait for the bus or rent a bicycle.
As a research and design studio, we are continuously investigating how mobility could be improved. This project is rooted into research about urban mobility, dating back to 2012. Four years of further investigation later, lessons learned from projects as Publipod or Iugo, but also an increasing understanding of daily urban mobility, lead to the completely new concept of Mobjects. Since 2016, Mobjects went through many iterations upto the complete service it is presented as today.
The key to this project was to focus not only on the surroundings, nor only on new vehicles, but to focus on their mutual coexistence. How can the treasured qualities of a pedestrian area expand beyond the walkable?
WHAT WE DID
We created a new form of mobility that has an open and positive interaction with pedestrian public space, also when it stands still.
DEFINE : From previous projects like Publipod and Iugo, we understood that defining a vehicle operating amid people requires a different mindset. It should move at human speeds (abolishing the need for aerodynamics), have zero emission (introducing an electrical drivetrain with solar cells for extra range), and have an extremely low threshold for users. All the necessary technical components should be integrated in a very natural way to ensure an incredibly intuitive and permissive operation. Furthermore, the rides should be smooth, even on bumpy roads in historical cities (requiring active suspension).
DESIGN: A strong focus on the human behaviour and context led to a new typology of vehicle, characterised by a mimetic design that blends into the urban environment rather than imposing itself upon it. The transparent and architectural design, concrete base plate as low as a curbstone, and wooden benches, it really blurs the boundaries between vehicle and surroundings, and invites for intuitive and ad hoc usage. For the short stretches a Mobject is intended, having no doors at all drastically eases getting in and out, and decreases the energy consumption usually needed for heating and air conditioning.
DEVELOP: The Mobject vehicles are currently being developed by the new startup “Mobject”. They need very little infrastructure to operate, making implementation low-cost. Additional charging is done autonomously through induction charging at night and the design is conceived in such a way as to allow for easy and quick cleaning. On top of that, Mobjects do not need a critical mass to function, as is the case with many other mobility solutions, but even a single Mobject could be introduced as a pilot project and scale it later into a full-fledged mobility solution for the entire city.
KEY DESIGN FEATURES
Protected Archetypal design that integrates perfectly into urban and architectural contexts.
Integrated LED screen that functions as public canvas for cities or interactive advertising panel.
Flat Solar Roof
Flat roof with integrated solar cells offers protection and energy autonomy. Integrated handles allow to easily hop on or off, ‘San Francisco Tram Style’.
Drivetrain, computing unit and battery pack are condensed into a low skateboard type base with Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) cover that matches sidewalks heights and integrates perfectly into streets.
The integrated light strip functions as indicator and signal light when moving, while serving as a light beacon when standing still
The architectural overall design is combined with technological refinement. The ‘Cyclops Eye’ combines Radars, lights, microphone and an speaker.
Mobjects are designed to be cleaned and maintained easily. There are no unreachable spots where dirt or trash can accumulate.
Designed for flat pack shipping. Assembly and even parts of production can easily be done locally.
Doorless layout and single-curvature surfaces reduce drastically moulding costs and guarantee easy adaptability.
All materials are very durable and extremely wear-resistant. They are inspired by public spaces, not cars.
Understanding performance requires a deep understanding of the actual use for a vehicle. Even in the inner city, performance is a key element to success, albeit not in terms of aerodynamics or speed, but of user-friendliness, cleanability, and blending in.
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