This research project involved the design of both an advanced car and new type of urban vehicle. It embodied our human-centred vision of mobility and vehicles.
Publipod dates back to early 2012. It was a first answer addressing directly a changing use of urban transportation. Driverless technology was still in its infancy, but it was clear that it could evoke a massive change in the way we move around cities.
"When thinking of future mobility, we need a paradigm shift: we must no longer approach the car as a single object, but look at people and cars together as one pulsing system in which vehicles and people act, and above all, communicate together.
This system must not deny the individual sense of freedom that is at the core of the existence of cars, but should have the capacity to liberate it again. When we consider that 'intelligent' system, and not the single object, as our new solution field, many opportunities arise that have been left unexplored until now.
We as designers are interested in what this paradigm shift could mean to cars and the people using them. How can we improve their interaction? How can it help to recreate stronger sensations when driving? How can it change the quality of our living environments?
One key is that we do not just focus on designing a vehicle, but move towards a transversal experience of our mobility. This means creating beauty within mobility, so that all the different aspects of our mobility connect in a coherent way with each other into an enjoyable, fluid experience.
While the industrial revolution brought us cars as objects, the digital revolution of connecting them into a beautiful system has only just begun."
(Lowie Vermeersch, 2012)