Autonomous vehicle for public transport services
5000 x 950 x 2100 mm
Software – Autodesk Alias, and Maya, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator
Year – 2021
Status – Concept
Project – Master Thesis
Exhibitions – INÉDITO Design Week Mexico 2021, Espacio CdMx
PRESS & INQUIRIES (English / Español):
Level 5 Autonomous shuttle for public transportation in the smart cities emerging in developing countries. As part of multimodal transportation systems, BICHO would adapt to flexible routes eliminating personal vehicles from main roads. Inspired by people’s behaviors, the result is a new architecture composed of a lightweight structure wrapped with a technology membrane over a state-of-the-art electric platform, featuring open spaces and handrails for quick accessibility and adaptability.
The next mobility revolution is getting closer thanks to autonomous technologies in most developed countries. Smart cities are coming together while Level 3 “robots on wheels” are now being tested on real roads. Although extensive and very relevant, these efforts don’t seem to consider the developing world as a testbed for these technologies to be implemented. Its presence is still lagging or, in the best case, only focusing on the wealthy and highly educated slot of the population. It’s necessary to understand why, beyond funding, are these regions being relegated from bettering technology, forcing the late adoption of degraded versions of what’s envisioned somewhere else.
The developing world represents a larger part of the overall population. Although culturally rich, these countries are often characterized by unequal access to education and wealth detonating a significant social disparity. It’s time to provide new solutions and possible business cases that can keep society moving in such areas where the need to access culture and job opportunities is urgent.
With these contexts in mind, it was important to leave brands behind, envisioning a faceless and subordinated mobility device that would serve people instead of consumer profiles. A product that could be integrated as part of multimodal transportation systems managed by public institutions and even be adopted by private companies to suit specific routes.
Being Mexican, I had the opportunity to conduct participatory observation in cities representing the objective context in Latin America. Although León, Guanajuato has what’s considered the most efficient transportation system in Latin America, Mexico City offers a large and varied network of mobility methods, recently adding the longest cableway in the world. This experience showed me the risks, vices, and opportunities hidden in the services, yet what’s really interesting is how people relate to mobility and the way they appropriate it.
#ThankYou Prof. James Kelly, Prof. Lutz Fügener, Andreas Hoffmann, Monika Markert, Prof. John Sweeney.
BICHO was part of Design Week Mexico 2021’s INÉDITO exhibition.
Photography – Alejandro Ramírez