Unpacking a suitcase in a hotel room may go the way of subway tokens and landlines in the future. The winner of the Radical Innovation Award 2018 was announced this month at a ceremony at the New Museum in New York and, if the concept is developed, it would mean checking into your lodging at home or at the airport.
The Autonomous Travel Suite from Aprilli is a mobile hotel room with a bed, workspace, and bathroom that would enable a traveler to work en route to each destination while the driverless vehicle negotiates the road. The Autonomous Travel Suite could be ordered through an app just like an Uber and would be programmed to integrate into a docking hotel if the traveler wanted to enjoy expanded facilities such as meeting rooms, spas, or fitness centers.
The concept has obvious benefits for business travelers, including the ability to continue working while on the road, increased luggage allowance, and no early mornings and traffic holdups as the Travel Suite could drive to a meeting destination overnight and simply park in the destination’s lot. At the moment, the Autonomous Travel Suite is an unfunded idea, but as autonomous cars are now being tested without drivers behind the wheel it seems the technology is well on the way to being accepted. The major hotel chains might well take note.
Two runners-up at the Radical Innovation Awards featured mobile hotel concepts. The Room Extension Solution is an idea that involves sending a mobile pod to greet travelers at the airport or train station and then docking into an existing hotel room, and a floating hotel that would integrate eco-lodging into fishing communities.