Volvo’s Self-Driving Pods Could Sub for Short-Haul Air Travel

September 05, 2018 at 9:57 AM

Volvo Car Corp. says its 360c concept vehicle offers a more convenient alternative to air shuttles on trips of 300 km (186 miles) or less.

 

The electric 360c can be configured for four purposes: entertainment, living room, mobile office or sleeping. In each case, the result is a “first-class private cabin” that would deliver its occupant door to door.

Volvo says the concept could deliver quicker trips than air shuttles, when travel to and from the airport, security and boarding are included in the latter alternative. The 360c would compete with short-hop air carriers for some 740 million short-distance trips made by air annually in the U.S. alone, according to the company.

 

In May, USA Today noted that most U.S. travelers say flying is more frustrating than it was five years ago, citing higher costs and crowded airport terminals. The report says more travelers are opting to take a bus, train or drive themselves.

Volvo suggests shuttles like its 360c would offer a more comfort, convenience and privacy. But it also considers the 360c a “conversation starter” about the profound impact robotic drive will have on personal mobility.