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According to Curbed – All (This article and its images were originally posted on Curbed – All September 7, 2018 at 04:31PM.)
In 2015, I was invited to Volvo’s design studio to see an early concept for its first self-driving vehicle. The studio is 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles, where I live, and very close to an Amtrak station, so I took the train. From the reaction I got when I arrived, you would have thought I just hopped off the hyperloop from Mars.
The Swedish automakers in town to show off their work were shocked that I had gotten there using transit. In fact, at least one designer I talked to, who was supposed to be working on solutions for Southern California’s transportation crisis, didn’t even know that trains served this part of the LA region.
My trip took a little over an hour, and I got there faster than some people coming from other parts of LA who got stuck in the 101 freeway’s notorious traffic. As I started writing my article on the way home—which I could do because I was riding on a train—I looked at the freeway gridlocked below me and wondered how a self-driving car could possibly improve upon this particular journey. A train was clearly the most efficient way to travel.
Three years later, Volvo’s 360c is a real car—or, rather, it’s still a concept, but Volvo built an actual car to show what it could do. It has a fridge and a bar. And a sink with a faucet where you can brush your teeth. The seating configuration shifts into different modes for entertainment or work… or sleep.
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