The polished aluminium travel trailers that we use to see in Hollywood in the by gone era is making a comeback. When Wally Bryan launched the first Airstream travel trailer in 1931, he made the rounded light aluminium construction to enable for easy towing. What he didn't know was that the unique trailers would become a design icon.
Airstream are hitting the niche luxury mobile traveller market with its ultra high quality trailers. Just recently, Airstream brand launched in Sydney with two modified models, the 624 and 762 which comply with the Australian standards. With a $115,000 starting price tag for the 624, 6.2m long model the classic trailer is specifically targeting the high end outdoor traveller market segment.
Perfect example of how one company is revitalising a past classic icon to a new updated design with a niche luxury twist. Can you think of any other product or service which has the potential of been redesigned and revamped for todays market?
Urban development is taking a new approach with commuting in London to overcome its road and traffic problems. London is planning to introduce a network of elevated bike lanes with SkyCycle and is currently in discussions with architect Sam Martin.
Designed by Exterior Architecture, the SkyCycle will have bike lanes that allows cyclists to travel between train stations for a small fee of approximately one pound. Sam Martin has designed the SkyCycle to be an open-air cycling Superhighway in the sky which takes you from one neighborhood to the other side of the city.
A city committed to cyclist but with constraints of narrow and limited roads in London, SkyCycle appears to be a logical step to resolving its road and traffic problems and at the same time improving its green environmental footprint. Local governments with congestion and traffic dilemmas, one to take note.
We have all exeprienced the frustration with driving in the city where parking spots are often hard to find, tight and come at a price. With population growth increasing rapidly this problem is only going to get worse. To try and resolve this everyday problem, we are finding more and more car manufacturers entering into the micromobility market.
In September 2011, we posted an article "The Future Of Urban Commute" where we featured the Volkswagen NILs a single seater electric car which was aimed at this new niche market. Well, we now have another entrant in the micromobility space, meet The Hiriko Citycar. Think of the Citycar as a child stroller, of course it's a lot more complex than that but the concept is very similar in that you fold it up so its manageable and compact.
The idea for the electric Hiriko Citycar started out at Boston's MIT-Media Lab before being picked up by Hiriko Driving Mobilty. It's small, fits two people and can travel approximately 121 kilometers before you have to charge it. Hiriko Driving Mobilty plans to start selling the Hiriko CityCar in mid 2013 with an asking price of about US$16,000.
Sustainable and eco friendly, micromobilty is showing no signs of slowing down!
A single seat vehicle.
Volkswagen bring us the NILS. An electric car that can speed up to 81mph.
Designed to hold only a single driver, the NILS is simple and functional. Driving stats are displayed through an LCD panel and a nifty bit of technology is included in the form of the PID, or Portable Infotainment Device.
The PID is an interesting bit of pop-in pop-out technology that consists of a navigation system, music, phone and vehicle stats display (such as the battery charge). This device can be snapped in when you're in the car or taken with you as an entertainment/infotainment device when you step out.
The Volkswagen press release uses the word 'micromobility', and we think that this totally fits the case. The creation of this car, regardless of 'concept' status or not shows a prospective path of where urban mobility could go.
How often do you see a single driver sitting in a five seater vehicle?
NILS cuts down on the potentially unnecessary, in space and emissions with interesting innovations like three part roof hinged doors, or even simply in it's size.
I look forward to the micromobility of the future.
We have all experienced the inconvenience with lack of parking space and not to mention high cost of parking in central business districts. New York based startup Parking Auction Inc is resolving this everyday problem for city drivers.
Launched 1st August 2011 in Manhattan, Parking Auction iPhone app has created a crowdsourcing marketplace for public parking, by connecting drivers vacating a parking space (the seller) with those searching for a one (the buyer) for a small fee.
The car spaces are not for sale. What is actually been sold is the information and knowledge that a space will be available soon. If someone gets the space before the buyer, both buyer and seller are out of luck hence buyer does not need to pay the seller.
Currently in Beta testing, buyers are paying between $3 to $20 to find out soon to be available parking spaces. Parking Auction take a small commission on each transaction.
Parking Auction have plans to expand worldwide and partner with major car parks to offer guaranteed reserved parking spaces.
As stated on their site, Parking Auction's mission is to "Make parking convenient" at the same time reducing traffic congestion, stress, time and money for drivers, along with reducing carbon on the environment.
We can see a similar concept been adopted to many other market segments especially the entertainment or event industry and the like, where space and seating is a premium. So what are you waiting for start molding a similar concept to your corner of the globe.
Photo courtesy of Christian S/Flicker