Nissan concept van supports digital nomads with open-air office pod
The case for telecommuting got a big shot in the arm from the COVID-19 pandemic, with many companies shifting to a much more work-from-home-friendly mentality. Some RV manufacturers have explored how work from home could translate into work from motorhome, and Nissan joins them with a work-optimized NV350 built to create a quiet, private 9-to-5 space in the city or the wilderness. The concept van features a full-blown indoor/outdoor sliding office and a rooftop lounge for seriously relaxing lunch breaks.
The idea of integrating a slide-out workplace into a concept van isn't a new one at Nissan. In fact, Nissan is rather infatuated with the concept, regardless of whether the work entails underwater photography, traveling sales or general office work. Its latest workspace-in-a-van concept looks at how the modern work-from-homer can enjoy a four-wheeled office to take remote work a couple steps farther than a home office.
In the city, the NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept provides a low-profile workaday nook that seems perfect for workers looking to escape apartments crowded with small children or noisy roommates. The office pod can remain inside the van, which can be parked on the street or in a parking garage and used as a stealthy mini-office.
On days when the Caravan Office Pod owner requires a bit more elbow room and fresh air, the van can roam out into nature, anywhere from a local park to a distant primitive campsite, and serve as an open-air office and lounge. At the push of a prompt on the accompanying mobile app, the office pod slides out the tailgate to create a breezy patio office. There's even a transparent polycarbonate office floor for viewing the nature below – slide the office out over top a babbling brook and you have a very pretty office "carpet."
The actual office space is a simple but functional one with a computer desk that rolls off the wall and a swivel chair secured to the opposite wall. The desk holds a computer with large flat-panel display, and there's a coffeemaker inside the sliding side door for those much-needed morning and afternoon pick-me-ups.
When it's time for hard work to give way to a bit of R&R, the lounge up on the rooftop serves as a natural space for quick breaks and extended happy hours. It's accessible using a ladder inside the van and even includes a large sunshade.
Other Office Pod Concept features include an electrical system with inverter for running the coffeemaker and other devices, a power window shade to cut down on excess sun and glare, and an anti-bacterial UV lamp in the glove compartment. One missing puzzle piece that could elevate the whole concept is a convertible bed/cot for multi-day work trips. It seems like some type of convertible single- or double-bed solution could be fairly simply designed using the desk as a support, giving owners the ability to stay out in the wild for days at a time or take a working road trip without stopping at a hotel.
The NV350 isn't the most rugged exploration vehicle in Japan, but Nissan does strive to give the Office Pod concept the look and feel of an on/off-road adventure machine. Special body cladding creates a rugged custom look, while accentuated wheel arches focus attention on the BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. Nissan doesn't mention four-wheel drive specifically in its brief written description, but it does offer the NV350 with a 4WD system, which would certainly help to round out the concept's all-terrain capabilities.
The NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept is just a one-off show van designed for this year's digital edition of the Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan's version of the SEMA show. So we don't suspect swarms of Nissan van offices will be zipping between Tokyo and Mt. Fuji in the near future.
The video clip below provides a closer look at the Office Pod concept and its various features.
Source: Nissan (Japanese)