This autonomous travel pod boasts minimalistic design + organic social interactions

Lately, we’ve seen a number of mobility concepts that promote lounging and interiors advocating social interaction. The Agora-e mobility concept is yet another future-forward city commuter that lays emphasis on personal social interaction. Envisioned to bring a zero-emission autonomous means of transportation to Hong Kong and the thickly populated suburbs of Southern China, the pod will set the example for sustainable transportation in the other major metropolis as well.

Dubbed Agora E, the electric ride is inspired by the public gathering spaces in Greek cities. The naming convention comes from the word “agora” which means to “gather together.” More like a pod, the autonomous four-wheeled public transport vehicle has an interior that triggers instant conversations and meaningful interactions. There’s a continuous circular seating in green color, wherein the passengers sit facing each other, and the inward space is left open for luggage, wheelchair, or standing passengers.

Designer: Andrea Ponti

For the standing passengers, there’s a circular rail on top of the roof to hold onto for those bumpy rides. Agora E, unlike other similar travel pods – envisioned for future cities – this concept keeps things to the bare minimum. There are no interactive screens or over-the-top inclusions that in practical usage will not make much sense. There’s only one display that shows the current routes in the waypoints to keep passengers updated about their destination, and the real-time weather. There are clear glass doors and a tinted roof to keep the interiors of this travel pod well lit. This makes sense during peak hours of traveling so that passengers don’t feel bogged down or congested.

Cities in the future will undoubtedly be more crowded than ever, so Andrea has kept the design compact – more on the elongated side and with less width. The wheels on the electric commuter are on the smaller side for agility and a shorter turning radius. Agora E will help in breaking the ice for travelers after a long day’s work – that is, if they’re not glued to their smartphones, ignorant about what’s happening in their periphery!

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