The future of hospitality: Would you stay in a driverless hotel on wheels?


How much time do you think you would save if your hotel room came to pick you up at the airport?

Two of the submissions for this year's Radical Innovation awards - an architectural competition looking for new ideas for the hospitality industry - looks at how travellers can get to their hotel rooms more smoothly

The answer? Driverless hotel rooms on wheels that pick you up either at your home or the airport, complete with a bedroom and bathroom so that you can already get comfy in your hotel on the way to the main docking stations.

These concepts are also not just for some futuristic daydreams that will only exist on paper according to Quartzy - judges look for practical designs that can be implemented, and will put funding towards the winning designs so that it can come to fruition in three to five years.

Previous winning designs that are up and running include the home-office hybrid Zoku in Amsterdam and Snoozebox - a portable hotel aimed at providing accommodation at festivals and sports events.

The winners will be announced on 3 October later this year in New York City's New Museum.

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Room Extension Solution (RES)

The first design is the 2018 student winner, from two graduates from the Cracow University of Technology, aims to optimise travel time with a mobile hotel room that meets guests at the airport. It comes complete with a bed, storage space for your luggage and a working bathroom, and will be driverless.

While you settle in, the room on wheels will be taking you to the main hotel unit with its docking stations, where it will remain part of your room until you leave and it takes you back to the airport.

"Combining autonomous transport with hospitality has the power to redefine the way we travel around the world," says the entry description.

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Futuristic driverless car that doubles as a hotel

(Photo: Radical Innovation)

Autonomous Travel Hotel

This design from Aprilli Design Studio in the US is similar to the RES design, but envisions the driverless car to pick up travellers from their own home after making a booking on an app. When it docks at the Autonomous Hotel facility, the unit extends into a larger suite.

The other main difference is that because it connects to a larger suite, the mobile section can double as your own personal driverless rental car to use around your destination, making finding parking at your hotel a moot issue. 

"The Autonomous Travel Suite provides both a new way of travelling and an extension of the conventional hotel experience, from the minute a traveller steps out of their home," reads the entry on the website.

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Futuristic driverless car that doubles as a hotel

(Photo: Radical Innovation)

Other submissions

Other finalists in the Radical Innovation competition looks at creating sustainable environmental and psychological environments, while the student honourable mention submission envisions a hotel that's incorporated into a local community.

Floating Hotel

Designed by another student entry, this hotel is created for regions where people live in floating villages and depend on a fishing economy. The idea is to create a production space for guests where they can interact and experience the local culture firsthand by helping the river community with various services.

SEE: #ThePreferredLife: Stay in luxury while spying on surfers at Kommetjie in Cape Town

Floating hotel in a jungle with boats, vegetables

(Photo: Radical Innovation)

Aquaponic Experience Hotel

Aquaponics is a symbiotic aquaculture system where farmed fish creates nutrients for plants growing in the system's waters, which in turn is purified. Varinot & Varinot Architects designed a hotel concept where this farming method is used throughout the hotel, capturing and recycling rainwater that in turn creates fresh food for its restaurant, fresh flowers for the rooms and fresh seaweed for its spa.

Its structure will be adaptable to any city, dependant on space and height restrictions.

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Futuristic hotel room concept with plants looking

(Photo: Radical Innovation)

Le Colline Incantate

This hotel concept is designed specifically for the hills of Northern Italy, and will be marketed as a retreat for families transitioning into single parenthood. Not only is Le Colline Incantate designed to be energy-efficient with plants and waterways creating cross-ventilation, the spaces will be built in collaboration with psychologists for therapy group and individual sessions and activities, creating an inviting environment. 

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Futuristic hotel with glass and plants walls, fill

(Photo: Radical Innovation)

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