Plus lavish excursion centers to stop at on a road trip.
As we patiently wait for the 2024 Volkswagen ID.BUZZ to arrive in production form, Volkswagen Group of America has teamed up with the Academy of Art University in San Fransisco on a special project. The students were tasked with designing future mobility concepts for long-distance traveling, and VW donated scholarships to the best examples. 30 students from different disciplines were split into five groups, each creating a mobility solution for the American landscape.
Out of all the examples, the Urban Cowboy (pictured below) looks the most like something we could conceivably see on the road. "This project reflects the team's passion for adventure and admiration for cowboy culture to demonstrate sustainable long-distance travel at its best," VW said in a press release. The concept looks like a capable off-road van, and we think it's a pretty cool idea.
X-Hubs are more forwar-thinking, reimagining what a rest stop might look like in the future. The students imagine these X-Hubs as a family-friendly area to pull off on a road trip, with dedicated Excursion Centers hosting activities and local sights. Each X-Hub will have special vehicles to carry families and provide entertainment on excursions.
The Orbis is a similar concept but designed for business travelers. It's essentially an autonomous pod with a lounge, where business travelers can rest and arrive rejuvenated at their destination.
Outreach (pictured below) was designed to fit the "lifestyle for the modern nomad." The students who created it say Outreach blurs the lines between a car and a home, so passengers can travel around the world with daily comfort. The vehicle itself looks like a lunar rover, and it can attach to Outreach Posts, which are basically small buildings postponed in scenic locations.
The fifth team, Kinship, came up with an "overarching vision for the project, developing voice, brand strategy, website, and graphic layout for all design concepts."
We don't think any of these concepts will see the light of day for several decades, but they do offer some pretty cool ideas.