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The furniture store’s design agency has dreamed up seven ways we might use autonomous vehicles if we don’t actually have to focus on driving.
Ikea will aim to make home deliveries with zero emissions in five cities by 2020, the company announced this week.
Deliveries to customers in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and Shanghai will be done mostly by electric vehicle to meet zero emissions environmental goals.
“For us it’s crucial to grow our business in a sustainable way—that’s why we’re speeding up the transition to EV in five inner city areas,” Ikea Group CEO Jesper Brodin said in a statement. “By 2020 all our home deliveries in central Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Shanghai will be by EV or other zero emission solutions.”
Once cars can finally drive themselves, we’ll have more time to enjoy the journey and do other, much more interesting stuff instead. At least that’s the concept behind some of the designs below, developed by retail giant IKEA’s “future living lab,” SPACE10, based in Copenhagen.
SPACE10 was asked to come up with designs for autonomous vehicles that would be extensions of our homes, offices, and local institutions. Some of the agency’s seven ideas, shown below, are almost practical. Who can’t imagine autonomously driven cafés or pop-up stores? In fact, they already exist in California—in the form of self-driving cars that have groceries stocked in their back seats.
The Swedish furniture company joined the initiative by the Climate Group, EV100,in 2017, promising to meet this goal by 2020, provide access to electric vehicle charging stations at Ikea locations by 2020, make all home deliveries zero emission by 2025, and cut in half emissions from Ikea employees and customers by 2030.
Other companies that are part of that group include HP, Unilever, and PG&E.
Other concepts might need a bit more thought, particularly the ones that SPACE10 envisions delivering resources to underserved communities. It may be difficult, for example, for a self-driving health clinic to bring medical care to truly remote areas. Nevertheless, the designs are useful for sparking conversations about the ways autonomous vehicles could transform everyday life.
Why not turn your entire commute into one long meeting? SPACE10’s Office on Wheels would enable you to not just work on your way to work, but also hold group discussions in a mobile version of a conference room.
This café would help people socialize while also getting where they need to go.
Why not have the farmers’ market come to you?
Or just a mini IKEA store?
Could sleeping in your car seem appealing? SPACE10 imagines us going to bed in autonomous vehicles that would be as comfortable as standard hotel rooms.
This tour bus design has windows that display augmented-reality images so passengers can learn about their surroundings in a more vivid way.
SPACE10 claims that using self-driving cars to transport medical professionals could make it easier for mobile clinics to visit underserved communities.
“By switching to EVs for home deliveries at this pace, IKEA is setting a strong example for clean transport in city centers, where zero emissions zones will one day become the norm,” Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson said in a statement. “They are enabling their customers to play a key part in accelerating the roll out of electric vehicles overall.”