Creative mobility designs that have emerged out of COVID-19 for a safer travelling journey
Over the past couple of months, the world has been forced to come to a screeching halt due to the destructive impacts of COVID-19. The mandatory lockdowns all over the world, as well as the voluntary self-quarantines have made us rethink our routines pre-pandemic. Whatever priorities we had prior has been dethroned by safety, caution and plenty of people distancing. With empty highways, roads and trains, it's safe to say that COVID-19 has completely shapeshifted mobility and our ideas of what transportation and travel should be like, for many years to come.
As borders and other public places begin to reopen in an effort to bolster the economy, the changes in mobility design would have been obvious to most, with more that's on the way. But could more be done (apart from tape and plastic shields plastered around) to prevent infection and outbreak? It seems there is, judging by these mobility design concepts conceived by creatives around the world.
The quarter-car is an autonomous vehicle designed specifically for ridesharing, allowing users to book their own private seat in a shared automobile. The interiors divide into 4 sections for each passenger, and the car is cleaned regularly throughout the day. Compared to large airplanes and buses that are hard to clean, and cost more by taking up dwell-time when not in use, the Q-Car redefines ridesharing.
Made by Factorydesign, a British company specialising in aviation and product design, the Isolate Kit allows the middle seat in airplanes to be transformed into a 'reassuring' screen to allow passengers their own personal space. A translucent thermoplastic is used for the partition, allowing for a breathable space that allows light to pass through. Thankfully, this could spell the end of rubbing elbows with your seatmates in cramped plane spaces. No one likes the middle seat anyway.
PriestmanGoode, a design agency, has "re-evaluated" train interiors for increased capacity, without compromising on social distancing. The Island Bay seats on trains have been adapted for storing bicycles, therefore maximising the use of blocked-off seats on commuter trains.
Covid mobile-testing labs
A result of the collaboration between global design firms like Perkins and Will, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Arup Group, Covid Mobile-Testing Labs will be set up by converting out-of-use school buses to allow for increased testing in vulnerable communities worldwide. Making healthcare accessible and affordable is their aim, and they're on their way to achieving it.
Double-decker Driverless Tram
At first glance, Hong Kong's Ponti Design Studio may have created something that looks something out of a dystopian sci-fi film. This double-decker driverless tram, dubbed 'ISLAND' plans to keep to the concept of social distancing. Its interior comprises large circular benches that facilitate distance between each passenger, allowing them to sit facing outwards in a radial pattern. The domed roof also floods the inside of the tram with natural light in the day, while offering beautiful views of the city at night.