If your least favorite part of any drive is the actual driving, designers Mike and Maaike have an idea for you. The Atnmbl (the name is short for Autonomobile, which is a cross between “autonomous” and “automobile”) is not just a self-piloting, self-parking vehicle: it’s a hwole new concept in transportation. A concept that takes every idea about what a car should be and turns it on its head.
The Atnmbl is just a concept, and the designers anticipate that it will be until around 2040. The unique design features seating for seven, panoramic windows, and no pedals or driver’s seat. Rather than getting in and driving, passengers simply answer the Atnmbl’s question: “Where can I take you?” Since there is no need to manually control the vehicle, occupants are free to have conversations, surf the internet, catch up on work, or nap on their commute.
But perhaps the most important aspect of this design is the shift in thinking it invites. Rather than looking like a typical vehicle where all occupants face forward, the Atnmbl features no front window; rather, occupants are seated in the middle of the vehicle in a wraparound configuration that encourages conversation. Instead of being focused on where the vehicle is going, the window orientation encourages occupants to watch the scenery go by on both sides. A change of this type would be significant: instead of rushing mercilessly from one place to the next, we would begin enjoying the time we spend transporting ourselves.
Additionally, the self-driving technology could help make the streets a safer place. There would be no more worrying about intoxicated or distracted drivers. No more very young people having to wait for rides, and no more elderly people having to wonder if they are still capable of driving safely. The driverless vehicle drops passengers off at the curb, then parks itself, meaning a probable reduction in parking-related fender benders. Each wheel features an independent motor, providing four-wheel drive. The Atnmbl is electric-and-solar powered, making it a more ecologically responsible vehicle as well.