People in cities have a need of recreation. Leisure activities are a big part of people's health and well-being. Many leisure activities are practiced outside and close to nature. Today an increasing number of citizens do not own a car, and public transportation fails to meet people's need to get out from the city centre towards the wild nature. Public transportation runs according to a certain timetable and follows an established route. It also comes with restrictions on what passengers can bring onboard. In other words, there is a need for agile transportation that moves people and their equipment from the city out to the nature; and the need will only increase as urbanisation continues.
The proposed design concept originated from the question, “How might future mobility adapt to fit people’s need for recreation?” The project started with a research. The author studied how cities will develop, what defines generation Z, how 6G connectivity can be used in the future transportation industry, how electrification changes the terms of car design and the current status of autonomous technology. The research also included looking into the brand Canoo, a car company that designs, develops and builds electric vehicles with focus on lifestyle, utility and sustainability. The project moved then into a creative phase which included drafting an operational model for the mobility service, along with analog sketches of the vehicle, interior layout simulations in full scale and a storyboard that describes how the vehicle can be used. When the creative phase was done, the project moved to its final phase; visualization. A 3D model was constructed in Autodesk Maya, a polygonal modelling software, and rendered images were created using Autodesk VRED and Photoshop.
The project resulted in Canoo Link. Targeting year 2035, Link is an electric autonomous utility vehicle that urban subscribers would have access to. It can carry 4 passengers and has storage space to haul equipment and supplies for canoeing, mountain biking and many other outdoor activities. With its robust design and high ground clearance it is ready to take on some tough terrain. The subscription offers the customer full disposal of the vehicle during the activities for convenience and security. It acts like a hub for the activities, not just as a vehicle for commuting.
To summarise; Link is a design proposal for a shared mobility service that connects people living in cities to the nature. It is not just a car that takes you from one point to another, it is an active lifestyle enabler.