In this article, we’re going to take a look at how industrial designers Map, and Japanese studio Mori, Inc. imagined the future of transportation.
Whilst at first glance, the vehicles can appear to be a whimsical endless dream for globetrotting autonomous technology, these seven models have been inspired by the fabric of Honda’s innovation and success. This project celebrates the firm’s heritage as well as grasping the autonomous technology that is already widely accessible.
So let’s begin our journey around the world in seven vehicles…
The first leg of the journey is from Nairobi, Kenya, to Khartoum, Sudan, a route which is predominantly rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated tress; inhabited by an abundance of wildlife. Just by looking at the Safari Drifter, you can relate to its modern take on the camper van. The vehicle is also equipt with Honda’s robotic lawn mowers, so it can cut new paths and explore unchartered areas. The most exciting part of the concept surely has to be the detachable platform, providing unrestricted and breathtaking views of the savannah.
The next stage is from Khartoum to Karachi, Pakistan, where deep tread tires and agility are a necessity. This vehicle easily tackles the sandy and rocky terrain, and is inspired by Honda two-stroke generators and Motra motorcycles. The innovative Train is powered by Honda fuel cells and comes complete with a rolling water container at the rear. At night the train transforms into a camp complete with a giant boom box to party through the night. After all, who’s going to hear you making all the noise in the solitude of the desert?
When travelling from Karachi to Shezhen, China, visitors will encounter treacherous roads, rock falls and ever-changing terrain. The Mountain Climber has a high ground clearance with stunning front-facing viewing panels for the extreme adventurer. Inspired by Honda’s ASIMO robot, legs are deployed in the event of landfalls to clear the path, and the robotic rear arm also includes a digger bucket to help repair the road.
From Shenzhen to Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. When you hear the words ‘Amphibious Vehicle’ it’s not too difficult to imagine a trio of infamous former BBC presenters attempting to cross The Channel in a converted Toyota pick up truck. But the Island Hopper is in fact a million miles away from that vision. It combines a pedalo and luxury yacht sitting just above the water and uses all six paddle wheels to propel forward. Utilising Honda’s solar technology, the vehicle is completely solar powered, and once on land the wheels function in a very similar way to a tank.
The fifth leg of the journey is from Kamchatka to Fairbanks, Alaska, and traverses through snowy ice-laden landscapes. Powered by a series of wheeled drones that use Honda’s Uni-Cub self-balancing drive units, the Tundra Sled is inspired by the manoeuvrability of dog sleds. This vehicle is equipt with everything you would need to enjoy and thrive in the harsh conditions, including a detachable drone to ski behind and a hot tub on the rear deck to enjoy the purity of the air and the stunning Aurora Borealis.
For all those seeking a speed-fuelled adrenaline-packed experience, the journey from Fairbanks to Mexico City is the dream. With man-made roads, the Road Tripper can effortlessly pick up speed whilst remaining safe and stable with the integration of the Honda GYRO X, an innovative stearing system. Views can be enjoyed on both sides of the vehicle from the comfort of the interior sofa.
The final part of the journey is from Mexico City to Manaus in Brazil. Travelling through the Amazon Jungle, this vehicle has a high suspension to help navigate through the dense forest and rivers. When it’s time to take a break and enjoy the views of the jungle canopy, a living pod extends from this two-part vehicle, with platforms for sleeping, living and visual exploration.
The rich story and heritage of this project is mind-blowing. Using driverless vehicles that are capable of ferrying passengers in such style across the world, retracing mankind’s migration from the plains of Africa to rainforests of South America is something of a dream.
Having built these toy car-sized vehicles, we’re now under pressure from all our wonderful #ChallengeOgle fans to start work on the full scale versions. The Ogle HQ car park could look like a very different place in a few months time.