In much of America, front doors are vestigial remnants, as most people enter their houses by driving into their garages and entering, usually through a mud room. This has always been a design problem; the car is, after all, a moving living room with a comfy adjustable chair, and the garage is… a garage. And none of the chairs in our living rooms are as comfortable or as adjustable as those mobile barcaloungers.
But now, Hyundai has demonstrated the answer to our prayers at CES with their ‘Mobility Vision’ concept. Never again will you have to walk through the untempered space of your garage to get from one chair to another; instead, your smart car mates with your smart home. It's brilliant; Hyundai explains:
Hyundai Motor’s future vision makes full use of the car for mobility and, crucially, when not traveling it enables customers to continue living without interruption by integrating its functionalities with the home. The new concept combines the comfort, convenience and connectivity features of the car and the home into ‘one space’.
TreeHugger has always promoted the idea of multifunction devices, so in fact this makes a great deal of sense, having only one stereo system, one ventilation system. Who said you can’t take it with you. This also solves a major issue for car manufacturers; the thinking has been that self-driving cars will be called up on demand rather than owned, since they are parked so much of the time when they could be out serving other people. This idea enshrines the concept of ownership, since the car becomes part of the home. It's not just sitting there, it is doing something.
When ‘docked’ with the Smart Home, Hyundai Motor’s mobility concept becomes an integral part of the living space, performing useful functions and enhancing the living environment. For example, the mobility concept can act as an air conditioner; share its entertainment facilities by mirroring audio and visual outputs with the home’s smart devices; and even provide power in emergency situations, using its on-board fuel cell as a generator.
Also, TreeHugger loves small space living and tiny homes; this makes the car part of the living space. This would make a huge difference and makes total sense, with the car “integrating itself with the living space when docked, before becoming a mobile living space when customers need to move around.” At the end of the video, the car sort of drops down; I imagine that there is some kind of exterior car elevator that just zips it away, self-driving vertically as well as horizontally.
And that chair! Imagine the luxury and comfort of never having to even get out of it. I really think that conceptually, they are on to something here. Alexander at Car and Driver is not so sure:
It is, of course, only a concept, but the moving/floating chair reminds us of the hover chairs in the movie Wall-E, the ones that schlep around an increasingly sedentary, overweight, media-placated, and socially dissociated human race while their world slips under the control of a single Big Brother–like corporation. But that could never happen in the real world, right?
Haters. This totally solves the problem of lousy outdoor air quality, too much sun, scary people, this is the future. I was not one of those kids who ever wanted a pony, either live or Hyundai, but I do want this.