Inspired by Frank Schätzing’s novel The Swarm, which describes the potential power of intelligent collectives, the Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht and mobility think tank Rinspeed came up with a new urban mobility concept called microMAX.
The microMAX concept car is an ingenious commuter vehicle that merges personal and public transportation. The whole concept is based on the potential of information in the cloud, that is used by the car to understand traffic and its own position. By means of a special cloud-based platform built by the Harman Company, the microMAX is able to move through traffic with only a little help from a driver.
Interesting about the car is that it takes position somewhere in between the personal car, the public bus and car-sharing services. MicroMAX is a car that can host up to four people and has even room for a bike or shopping cart. Next to that, the microMAX comes equipped with a coffee maker, refrigerator and all kinds of digital gadgets.
Thanks to cloud technology and an app, everyone in need for transportation can trace a microMAX car and use its service. According to the company microMAX owners belong to a modern mobility community. That allows all microMAX vehicles to be used with maximum flexibility — by people driving themselves, by regular commuters in permanent carpools, but also by people looking for on-the-spot rides or persons that need to cover individual legs of their trip with the help of several microMAX participants.
A swarm of these electric vehicles together will facilitate an overall new concept for urban mobility that enables everyone to either be a mini-bus driver or a passenger. Having enough users and cars it will cover the transportation needs of a complete city with much more ease than our current transportation system. As explained in Schätzing’s The Swarm, the potential power of intelligent collectives is much more powerful than the mere sum of all its individuals.