Self-driving car concept is a hotel-like sleeping pod on wheels

Autonomous vehicles are still a somewhat controversial topic these days, but even detractors and critics will begrudgingly admit that it is the inevitable future. Given a foolproof and safe implementation, it opens up plenty of opportunities for people to do more during their travels, especially over very long distances. They can be more productive with work, spend more quality time with family, or simply get a good night’s sleep in transit. The latter isn’t exactly comfortable to do with today’s car designs, but that’s only if you don’t let go of current conventions and limitations. This design concept for a mobile sleeping pod, in contrast, pulls out all the stops and demonstrates what’s possible with the right technologies, the right design, and especially the right shape.

Designer: Peter Stulz

When viewed from its profile, the Swift Pod looks more like a gigantic motorcycle, a vehicle that stands on two wheels only. It’s definitely not your regular motorbike, even disregarding the significantly larger size, because it looks more like a cross between a bike and a car from the way it has a cabin instead of just a seat. When viewed from the top, however, the vehicle is revealed to actually run on three wheels, forming an odd triangle shape instead of a typical box you’d expect from cars.

The choice of the shape isn’t for appearance’s sake, though, but was made to maximize available space inside while minimizing the vehicle’s size. After all, the Swift Pod is designed to have two adult-sized beds inside, one on each side of the triangle, in addition to two chairs, amenities, and, of course, the vehicle’s actual hardware and components. The concept, after all, is for a mode of transportation that will let you sleep through your journey, at least if you want to. There’s plenty of space for two people to do anything, including working if necessary.

The concept was inspired by how some people are able to get a decent amount of sleep on trains and planes, and that’s without a comfortable bed or other conveniences. With Swift Pod, you not only have a comfortable place to recline but also an entertainment system, snacks and beverages, and plenty of storage for your belongings. What it doesn’t have room for is a human or physical driver.

The Swift Pod concept only works if autonomous driving has reached a point where one can really entrust their safety to these invisible drivers. The design envisions an extremely smart self-driving vehicle that, after booking a ride like a taxi, would be able to determine the best path toward your destination and navigate the roads safely. While the default is to simply go from point A to point B in one go, the system also has room for stop-over breaks where you can get off, eat some heavier meals, and freshen up before you take the next leg of your journey in the comfort of a bed.