Company designs self-driving hotel room

A Toronto design firm has created a concept for self-driving hotel rooms. Pictures: Aprilli

Could this be the answer to downtime on business trips?

A Toronto design firm has created conceptual designs for an “Autonomous Travel Suite” – a mobile, self-driving hotel room that picks you up from your home (or presumably the airport) and has all the facilities you’d expect from a regular hotel room.

The room, which has won a Radical Innovation Award, has basic sleeping, working and bathroom facilities, cocooned within a glass enclosure and with automated driving technology.

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It is intended to dock at a specially designed hub hotel, where the rooms attach to a larger hotel room and can be charged.

A design for one of the autonomous rooms.

Aprilli, which designed the concept, says it believes the Autonomous Travel Suite could be a viable alternative when the overall travel time pushes out towards six hours for travellers taking a plane.

“Most of the major cities in the United States are located within a less than a 10-hour driving distance, where intercity transportation is mostly fulfilled by domestic air flights and train connections. However, flights or train travels require secondary means of transportation to get to or from the airport or station involving a lengthy transfer and check-in process with fixed schedules,” the company says on its website.

“Normally, this process makes the overall travel time from two cities over six hours at the minimum, which is why Autonomous Travel Suite is a competitive option.”

The rooms would dock in a central hotel hub.

The rooms could reportedly be equipped with a TV or additional bed, while everything on board – from the navigation to the temperature – can be set through an app.

Those expanses of glass windows will also be able to be dimmed to allow for privacy.

While the suite is only a concept for now, one of the designers told USA Today it is hoped the technology will become a reality as early as 2030.