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Oct 9, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

IKEA looking at driverless cars that transform into hotels or stores

Thanks to recent progress made in the field of autonomy, drivers will soon be able to relax, work, sleep or do their shopping instead of actually driving if a project led by the IKEA group via its new SPACE10 laboratory comes to fruition. 

With the age of driverless vehicles almost upon us, IKEA already has a number of projects to occupy the free time we will have in the future during our journeys. The Scandinavian retail giant has come up with various illustrated concepts for cafés, stores and even mobile hotels on the website of its SPACE 10 project – a "laboratory for a new way of life" located in Copenhagen, according to the MIT Technology Review


Making the most of free time on board future driverless vehicles


Transforming the driverless vehicles of the future into genuine mobile extensions of our home, our offices and even various local institutions is the driving concept behind the SPACE 10 laboratory. 

This ingenious idea is not completely revolutionary however, since there is already a project in California for an autonomous car whose back seats will function as a mobile mini-grocery, which has been designed as part of a partnership between AutoX and GrubMarket, the review explains.


Cafes, shops, offices… and even travelling care centres


The designs presented by IKEA make a whole host of ideas seem possible, with passengers able to make the most of their travel time to work via mobile conference rooms or relax and chat in a travelling café. The illustrations also show a fruit and vegetable store, a mini IKEA and a hotel room, all of which are mobile, as well as a tourist bus fitted with an augmented reality system to provide travellers with a more interesting journey.

SPACE10 has also looked into how driverless vehicles could improve access to health care in isolated areas, with the laboratory coming up with a mobile clinic project which would transport medical personal and drugs as well as equipment for examinations and treatment.


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