Hold onto your seats, folks—especially if you’re sitting on your living room couch. This wild self-driving living room concept lends a whole new perspective to the idea of private transportation. Charles Bombardier, a mechanical engineer from Canada with an unbridled imagination, worked with vehicle designer Ashish Thulkar to develop Tridika, the pod-like living room that doubles as a mag-lev vehicle. After all, Bombardier wrote for Wired, “Why shouldn’t people use their vehicles for purposes other than transport?
Bombardier has a history of wild and crazy ideas, over 200 of which have been chronicled on the blog he’s kept since 2013. Tridika is the latest, inspired by Thyssenkrupp’s Willy Wonka-style elevator (and probably in part by science fiction films, too), and the concept is essentially a driverless vehicle that operates on a magnetic levitation (maglev) track which, when not carting its owner around town, would be parked next to a home or apartment and used as additional living space. Another option, Bombardier explains, would be to configure the pod as a portable office capable of seating up to six people—perfect for the perennial workaholic.
Considering how much time the average car is parked, doing basically nothing but waiting for the next commute or shopping trip, Bombardier’s impetus for the Tridika seems like a common sense approach. He argues the concept may be a great way to maximize limited space in crowded urban environments, simultaneously solving parking issues while expanding the usable area of your home. Because maglev technology powers vehicles with electricity drawn from the tracks, it could also be a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel-based cars.
But what about the technology? Is a self-driving living room even possible? Well, sure. Since the concept is based on existing maglev technology, it seems as though creating the box-shaped pods might not be such a challenge. Of course, then you’d have to find a developer who wants to outfit their buildings with maglev tracks and take on the challenge of selling driverless pod living rooms to residents. But, if the price is right and the benefits are clear, the trend could eventually catch on.