Citroën previews vision for autonomous mobility pods

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Citroën, Accor and JCDecaux have teamed up to form a creative partnership called The Urban Collëctif, which they say is intended to reimagine urban mobility. The group has released a series of concept ideas centering around the idea of an autonomous pod, based on Citroën’s skateboard platform, with interchangeable pods for different applications.

The group says the designs illustrate the potential of an open-source approach by offering three distinct interpretations of Mobility as a Service. These consist of the Sofitel En Voyage, touted as an exclusive urban mobility experience; the Pullman Power Fitness, a new way of playing sport and exercising while moving; and the JCDecaux City Provider, a no-frills, on-demand urban mobility service.

Damien Perrot, global SVP design at Accor, commented, “Each Pod is a bold and modern interpretation of interior and automotive design. They are designed beyond the conventions and standards that the industry is using today, with precision engineering, high-end materials, refined aesthetics and revamped functions and applications. Thanks to this unprecedented partnership, which is highly innovative both in form and substance, we are creating endless opportunities for the future.”

The Accor Sofitel pod features automatic glazed sliding doors and would allow two to three passengers to sit comfortably on board together, with their luggage in a dedicated compartment. An interior scrolling LED strip would display information in real time, such as personal messages, news, weather, arrival and travel times. In an attempt to mirror a hotel experience, it even features a bar that opens like a flower and would offer drinks and snacks, as well as a sound system, induction chargers and configurable mood lighting.

The Pullman Power Fitness Pod, meanwhile, is said to represent Pullman Hotels and Resorts’ ‘vision for boundary-pushing fitness’. It is characterized by a glass bubble incorporating dichroic patterns in the form of blinds, echoing Pullman’s graphic and color conventions, along with iridescent shades of blue, purple, pink and green. The occupants’ privacy is therefore protected, while maintaining a view of the outside.

The JCDecaux City Provider concept is inspired by the company’s street furniture, and employs pure shapes coupled with sober and functional design to offer comfort and space on board. It combines various materials and textures in an effort to accommodate passengers in comfort, including textured black, satin aluminum gray, dark-tinted windows, as well as a light wood aesthetic and plants.

Passengers would be seated facing each other, sheltered under a green, planted roof. In the open area, they would be protected from the weather by an awning, and the closed and bright glazed area has mood lighting. Up to five people can be housed on board and would be provided with USB sockets and two interactive screens to enhance the mobility experience, with information and useful services for planning and tracking journeys, for obtaining information on cultural, tourist and community life, and for discovering new places.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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