The concept

The Rubix is a multi-purpose urban car concept shaped like a cube. This electric driverless vehicle concept aims to change how we view and interact with our car in cities, where space is expensive and limited.

The background

When you’re driving a car in the city, you normally can’t drive too fast with all the traffic, so reducing the drag coefficient is not as important as increasing functionality. Why would you need an aerodynamic vehicle if you’re only using it to carry people and cargo around town at 40 kph? With this in mind, I tried to come up with a driverless car concept that would be roomy enough to let you work, transport friends and items, and also relax (i.e. text, browse the web or watch a movie). I also wanted the Rubix to be able to park literally inside your condo and serve as an additional room when needed (as an office, TV room, or reading space).

How it works

The Rubix is a driverless electric vehicle that recharges with induction plates embedded in your concrete floor. You don’t even need to connect it – it recharges automatically using a system like ‘Primove’. The Rubix has a boxy shape to optimize interior space. You could configure it to travel with up to six passengers, use it as mobile office, or even plan a picnic or a one-night urban camping trip with your kids.

The Rubix’s parking space would be integrated inside your condo/townhouse within a standard 8-foot cubic car port. The vehicle would be able to approach your house and signal other driverless cars parked in front of your home to move away from your (micro) driveway while it enters its parking space and self-parks. This means you could rent your driveway ‘entry’ to other driverless cars and generate revenues. The other cars would move out of the way automatically on an as-needed basis.

A large sliding door located on the side of the Rubix would open to let you enter your condo. This means you would also have a similar door in your condo that would open simultaneously with the car’s encrypted signature (or your cellphone if you are walking and the Rubix is not there). Another option would be for the panoramic windshield to tilt open. In this scenario, the bumper would pivot down to make it easier to walk out of the vehicle.

What it’s used for?

What is your car used for when it’s parked at home? Nothing. It just takes up space and it’s of no use. The Rubix concept would change that. You would be able to use your car any time of the day. For instance, your kids could watch a movie from inside when it’s parked at home. You could use it as an office space or reading room. You are already paying taxes for that space, so why not put it to use? It would also be easier to enter your home directly with the groceries, and it would eliminate the need to shovel snow if you live up north. The idea is also to reduce the size of your garage by 50% and use the occupied space for something other than only parking.

The designer

The Rubix images were created by Boris Schwarzer, based in Michigan, U.S.A., who went to the College of Creative Studies. Boris also created the images for The Aquari and the LSV.