French automaker Citroen has shared its vision for the urban mobility of tomorrow, with autonomous movement around town “for everyone,” the company said of its Urban Collëctif concept vehicles, developed in partnership with hotel group Accor and outdoor advertising and street furniture specialist JCDecaux.
The project is based on the Citroen Skate platform with three service pods — Sofitel En Voyage, Pullman Power Fitness, and JCDecaux City Provider.
“Transport is an essential requirement in daily life, especially in cities,” Citroen said in its announcement. “With their strong appeal, cities are seeing their populations increase so travel conditions need to be revamped. At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis has heightened city-dwellers’ expectations for cleaner, safer, more flexible modes of travel that comply with social distancing rules, thereby influencing the development of the urban landscape and smart mobility solutions for the future.
“The emergence of autonomous vehicles could help reduce congestion in cities; however, these solutions have no medium-term economic viability due to the high cost of autonomous driving technologies compared with uptake.”
In response, the Urban Collëctif designed for the safety and well-being of people.
The platform for the effort is the Citroen Skate, an autonomous, electric skateboard chassis designed to travel at speeds up to 25 km/h (about 15 mph) in dedicated lanes and to accept various coachwork. A feature of the Skate is its unusual spherical tire design, by Goodyear, that allows omnidirectional travel.
Initial pod designs include Accor’s Sofitel En Voyage, a mobile hospitality center designed as a way to stay within the brand experience while away from the hotel, and the Pullman Power Fitness, which allows for game-playing and fitness activities while on the go, and the JCDecaux City Provider, an on-demand way to travel with luggage, wheelchair, or other equipment in a vehicle with screens displaying information about the surrounding area while riding beneath a roof that has live plants.