Self-driving Citroën Skate carries swappable pods for inner-city travel
Citroën has introduced an interesting mobility concept that brings together several forward-looking transport technologies into one versatile vehicle. The Citroën Skate is a self-driving electric vehicle platform that can be fitted with different types of pods depending on the job at hand, and cuts a slender profile through the streets to keep disturbances to a minimum.
The Citroën Skate is designed to operate nearly continuously, topping itself up at dedicated induction charging bases to stay on the move. Top speed can be limited to 25 km/h (15 mph) or 5 km/h (3 mph) depending on how it is being used, while hydraulic suspension softens the bumps and jolts for those onboard.
The wheels designed in collaboration with Goodyear are fitted with small electric motors and the spherical tires seen previously from company, allowing the Citroën Skate to move in any direction. The vehicle measures 2.6 m long, 1.6 m wide and 51 cm high (5.2 x 8.5 x 1.6 ft) and is designed to travel in dedicated lanes while a smart fleet management system governs its movements around a city.
Citroën has introduced three pod designs for the Skate, all of which can be fitted to the platform in as little as 10 seconds and two of which were designed with French hotel company Accor. The Sofitel En Voyage pod offers the type of high comfort you might associate with a luxury hotel brand, mixing flat glass, wooden marquetry, blood orange velvet and fancy furniture in a box big enough for three passengers.
Luggage is slid into a dedicated compartment, while an LED strip displays messaging on news, weather and travel times. Other features include a bar, sound system, customizable lighting and a touchscreen tablet for video conference calling.
Also designed with Accor is the Pullman Power Fitness pod, which aims to combine physical activity with commuting. A rowing and exercise machine can both be found inside the glassy bubble, which ensures privacy for the passengers but still allows for outward viewing. A digital coach can be accessed through a holographic screen and according to Citroën, the exercise that takes place onboard could even be leveraged to help charge the vehicle's batteries.
The third pod, called the JCDecaux City Provider, is inspired by street furniture. An enclosed cabin with dark-tinted windows offers privacy if need be, while an open area sits opposite with protection from the elements offered by an awning. The City Provider pod is designed for up to five passengers, and is fitted with USB charging and interactive screens for journey planning and tourist information.
The full-length reveal video for the Citroën Skate can be viewed below.