Citroën presents autonomous ‘Skate’ concept
Under the name ‘Autonomous Mobility Vision’, French car manufacturer Citroën presents a concept of the future’s multifunctional and autonomous city vehicle. For this, it has created a partnership with Accor and JC Decaux, named Urban Collëctif.
The common aim of the manufacturer, the hotel chain, and the giant of public billboarding is to optimize mobility in the urban area “so that everyone can reclaim the urban space and that the quality of life increases.”
The Citroën Skate is a high-tech universal mobility platform that can be used to provide several services. To illustrate this, the new partnership presents three so-called service Pods: ‘Sofitel en Voyage’, ‘Pullman Power Fitness’, and ‘JC Decaux City Provider’.
By doing this, Urban Collëctif wants to show that this is an open-source offering, lending a mobility platform to whatever compatible Pods future partners may offer.
“At Citroën, we investigate trends in the mid-and long-term to anticipate the future expectations and needs of the consumer. We believe that this new concept can redefine the urban mobility framework: shared, electric, autonomous.”
“The whole challenge for us is to find the right equilibrium between technology and infrastructure at a reasonable cost,” says Christine Hansen, Citroën’s Director of Strategy. “Autonomy will be very expensive on an individual vehicle. That’s why we will have to share it.”
“We are also reinventing what people are going to do while they’re being transported,” adds Design Director Pierre Leclercq. “That’s why we offer great liberty in creating interior design solutions. The idea behind is simple: mobility has to stay pleasant and not a bumper-to-bumper affair.”
The Skate platform is autonomous, electric, and chargeable through induction. It can be continuously available and drives at a maximum speed of 25 kph, where authorized. Moreover, the Pods upon it can be replaced in just ten seconds.
Its ‘footprint’ measures 2,60 m long by 1,60 m wide, and 0,51 m in height. In its design, Skate refers to Citroën’s 19-19 concept dating from 2019. For a brand like Citroën, comfort is crucial, so the Skate has movable hydraulic cushions.
The revolutionary wheels are a concept from tire specialist Goodyear. The Skate has specially developed omnidirectional ‘Eagle 360’ wheels with spheric tires. Inside the wheels, we find compact electromotors, giving the Skate full maneuverability in all directions, a major asset in urban surroundings.
The Citroën Skate will accept all sorts of Pods that can accommodate on the platform. To illustrate this, three Pods were already presented, referring to the business activities of the partners.
The first is the ‘Sofitel en Voyage,’ a sort of architectural parallelepiped made of glass and wood referring to the luxury atmosphere of the Sofitel hotel chain.
Second in the row is the ‘Pullman Power Fitness’ Pod. Passengers can do their work-out while being transported. Clever use of materials guarantees the privacy of the occupants without obstructing their outside views. The training labor of the passengers can eventually be used to charge the battery while moving.
The third proposal is the ‘JC Decaux City Provider’, a means of public transport on request. Its interior design is inspired by the street furniture of Decaux one can see in a lot of European cities. Up to five persons can travel together in this Pod in a closed environment or an open balcony-stile area.
Citroën Autonomous Mobility Vision aims to offer a wide range of flexible and affordable services, for example, for local authorities that want to discharge their urban centers from too much traffic. All kinds of local services can be imagined, from transport to healthcare up to garbage collection. The advantage is that the Skate platforms can be used in succession, in the function of what is most needed at a certain time in a certain place.