France: A new partnership between Citroën, Accor and JCDecaux will see the launch of mobility concept The Urban Collëctif to provide smart city transport via fleets of autonomous vehicles and pods.
Using an open-source model dubbed Citroën Autonomous Mobility Vision, the concept will rely on an electric mobility platform called The Citroën Skate which will move around cities non-stop and are paired with pods for users to travel in.
The Citroën Skate can be positioned below the pods on request to generate movement and activate the service. Its top speed is limited to 25 km/h which can be configured according to how the pods are used. This technological solution is driverless, autonomous and interconnected, and is estimated to improve traffic fluidity by at least 35 per cent. To achieve this, The Citroën Skates are designed to travel in dedicated lanes.
Three different pods will offer various experiences. Sofitel En Voyage is the first pod born from the collaboration between Accor and Citroën. Like Sofitel, the first French luxury hotel brand to expand internationally, this pod will allow up to three passengers to sit on board with luggage in a dedicated compartment. An interior scrolling LED strip will display information in real time such as personal messages, news, weather, and travel times. A touchscreen tablet will allow video-conference capabilities with a Sofitel concierge, and a bar will offer drinks, snacks, a sound system, chargers and mood lighting controls.
The Pullman Power Fitness is the second pod from Accor and Citroën. At Pullman Hotels & Resorts, a Power Fitness programme is being rolled out to more than 140 properties of which is summarised inside Pullman Power Fitness. Exercise equipment including a rower on one side and a bike on the other will allow users to work out while travelling through the city. A digital coach, appearing on a holographic screen, will encourage the user and provide route information and entertainment during the session. Furthermore, exercising within the pod will charge The Citroën Skate’s batteries.
Eventually, these two pods can be reserved using the ALL – Accor Live Limitless app. Damien Perrot, global SVP of Design at Accor, comments: “Each pod is a bold and modern interpretation of interior and automotive design. They are designed beyond the conventions and standards that the industry is using today, with precision engineering, high-end materials, refined aesthetics and revamped functions and applications. Thanks to this unprecedented partnership, which is highly innovative both in form and substance, we are creating endless opportunities for the future.”
JCDecaux City Provider is the third pod from Citroën and JCDecaux. Alone or whether travelling in a group, this pod is accessible to all and accommodates luggage, pushchairs and wheelchairs. Smart technology which optimises time and distance will offer the best route between departure point and destination, and two interactive screens will provide information on planning journeys and tourist attractions. The pod can accommodate up to five passengers whereby seating offers USB sockets to charge all mobile devices.
Vincent Cobée, Citroën general manager, said: “At Citroën, we examine medium and long-term trends to anticipate consumer expectations and needs. We believe that this new concept can redefine the framework of urban mobility: shared, electric and autonomous. With the solution we are presenting in partnership with Accor and JCDecaux, we are inventing autonomous mobility for all.”
Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO at Accor, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Citroën and JCDecaux for this innovative project. With nearly 5,200 hotels worldwide, our group is active in the local ecosystem and committed to offering ever more exclusive experiences, both to travellers and local communities, while contributing to the development of sustainable cities. Extending the hotel experience outside the walls of our establishments is in line with our bold and modern vision of hospitality.”
Jean-Charles Decaux, co-CEO of JCDecaux, said: “Teaming up with public and private partners to develop innovative and useful solutions to sustainably improve city life is fully in line with JCDecaux’s mission. The result of a close collaboration with Citroën and Accor, The Urban Collëctif symbolises JCDecaux’s desire to continue to innovate and imagine the urban mobility services of the future.”
With The Citroën Skate technology and its open source approach, third parties can develop pods compatible with the specifications of The Citroën Skate. Furthermore, AI provides the ability to predict where and when these pods need to be placed according to events.
The Urban Collëctif embodies the shared vision of an innovative and sustainable urban mobility solution that facilitates urban living.
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