Trying to drive even just a few miles at the wrong time can turn into an unintentional day trip. And unfortunately, most times are the wrong time in big cities like Los Angeles, where I live.
Easing Traffic Within Communities
A new player on the autonomous car scene, Neuron Energy Vehicles (Neuron EV) focuses on creating a solution for those few miles that can cause the biggest traffic problems. Designed to operate within a 5-mile radius, the autonomous HUB is an octagonal-shaped vehicle with integrated wheels. A low platform provides a stable center of gravity and efficient induction charging, while a galvanized exterior offers secondary charging via solar power.
The idea for HUB, which stands for Harmony, Unity and Balance, is to move autonomously at low speeds within a community. In the press release, HUB is described as “the beginning of a holistic solution. HUB integrates renewable energy, telecommunications, and cloud computing for ease of mobility.” I would like to be more specific about what this means exactly, but as of yet, details made available to the public don’t cut through the rhetoric.
Here’s what I can tell you: customers will be able to locate a HUB via GPS on their smart device or catch one at a HUB station. Using traffic detection software, HUB will travel to high demand areas, and additionally, apply this technology to efficiently factor in time for system maintenance. HUB activates service through three methods: on-demand, reservations and traffic detection.
Blockchain Technology Makes It Easy To Use
Through an integration of blockchain technology identification, customers can ride HUB without a reservation, jumping on and off like a trolley. All they have to do is scan a blockchain ID. By making HUB an easy and convenient alternative, Neuron EV hopes to incentivize its use.
As a personal vehicle, HUB offers three trim levels, as it were: basic, comfort, and premium. Neuron EV says your basic HUB will comfortably fit up to six passengers with plenty of cargo space.
In addition to personal transportation, the HUB will come in variants for commercial and public use. Neuron EV suggests such purposes as a shuttle service, fleet rental, emergency vehicle, commercial space and lodging. Yes, apparently, you can crash in one if you need to.
It’s unclear if the HUB is just a concept or the company has developed a prototype. No indication of partnerships and funding either. Right now it’s all about as nebulous as the meaning behind the car’s acronym, which sounds artificially constructed and feels like something I’d hear at a yoga retreat.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the HUB sounds really cool, and I’d love to travel around Santa Monica in one. I just need more details before I jump on board. Once I suss out more, I’ll let you know.