Are Self-Driving Hotel Rooms the Next Big Thing for Travel?

Are Self-Driving Hotel Rooms the Next Big Thing for Travel?

Woman sleeping in car

Woman sleeping in a car. (Photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / metamorworks)

Many of us know the struggle of trying to sleep in a car or feeling sleepy while driving, but one company out of Toronto might have a solution.

Called the Autonomous Travel Suite (ATS), it’s essentially a hotel room in a self-driving vehicle.

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Steve Lee of Toronto-based Aprilli Design Studio came up with the idea for ATS.

The ATS is a vehicle that’s designed like a hotel room complete with a sleeping space, workspace, tiny kitchen, toilet, sitting shower, and an entertainment zone for gaming and watching movies. It’s encased by panoramic smart glass windows that have the ability to dim with the push of a button.

The ATS is designed to travel for six to 10 hours and comes in different sizes for solo travelers, couples, and families.

Lee envisions these “hotel cars” as being operated by a chain of “Autonomous Hotels” that will provide maintenance services, water provision, and waste removal, as well as on-the-road assistance.

Through an app, travelers will “select the start and end points of their journeys and can add stopping off points such as gyms and restaurants,” said Lee. “The system will work out the best route.”

Throughout their journey, travelers can dock the ATS at a “parent suite,” a non-moving entity that will combine the parent suite and the ATS into an integrated unit better equipped for overnight stays. The facility would also have shared amenities like pools, gyms, restaurants, and meeting rooms.

Lee is currently trying to determine the best way to fuel the ATS – whether it be through electricity or hydrogen-fuel – and he’s seeking advice from automakers.

Drivers may not be able to experience the ATS any sooner than a decade, though Lee predicts it will most likely appear on East and West coast cities first, especially near cluster cities like New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh.

While the ATS isn’t set to launch anytime soon, Lee believes that his “hotel car” could replace domestic air travel, as it would be more comfortable, time efficient, and convenient for travelers.


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