Wouldn’t it be great to have your driverless car parked just outside your one-bedroom apartment and use it as an extra space? Well, Tridika might (one day) do the trick! Ideal for our crowded cities, this maglev vehicle concept (that would double as a very fair-sized extra room) was created by mechanical engineer Charles Bombardier, who explains his vision here:

The Concept 

The Tridika is a cube-shaped people mover concept that hovers on magnetic levitation tracks. It would serve as a means of transportation as well as extra space for your living quarters or office. This driverless electric vehicle aims to change how we use cars in our ever-growing cities, where space is expensive and limited.

The Background

I created this concept after reading about a new elevator concept [that moves both vertically and horizontally] developed by ThyssenKrupp. It gave me the idea to work on a vehicle for people living in multi-storey apartment blocks. They mostly use the subway or the bus, which are excellent ways to commute; but what if they don’t want a car, but do want some form of personal transportation system that can multitask?

Tridika by Charles Bombardier and Ashish Thulkar

New apartment towers and condos could be designed and built to accommodate Tridika vehicles. © Ashish Thulkar

How It Works

The Tridika works like a driverless car that you can literally park next to your living room and use as an additional room. It has no wheels because it works on the same principles as a maglev train: magnets lift and propel the vehicle. It takes its energy (electricity) from the tracks, and it’s an autonomous vehicle, so it takes you where you command it to go.

The boxy shape is meant to optimise interior space. You could configure it to travel with up to six passengers or create a fair-sized office space to work while you commute. New apartment towers and condos could be designed and built to accommodate them.

Tridika by Charles Bombardier and Ashish Thulkar

The vehicle can be configured to travel with up to six passengers creating a fair-sized office space to work while commuting. © Ashish Thulkar

The Tridika would connect to the outer wall of the building using a dedicated ramp, and it would get picked up by a mechanical elevator system and station itself in front of your apartment unit. A large sliding door located on the side of the unit would open to let you enter your condo. A similar door inside your unit would open simultaneously by detecting the encrypted signature of your Tridika or smartphone.

What It Is Used For

When our cars are parked at home or in the streets, they take up space and are of no use. The Tridika aims to change that by letting us use our vehicles for purposes other than transport. We are already paying taxes for our private parking spaces, so why not put them to use? Think how easy it would be to enter your home directly from the elevator with your arms full of groceries!

Tridika by Charles Bombardier and Ashish Thulkar

The idea is to put vehicles to use, even while they’re parked doing nothing. © Ashish Thulkar

The Tridika could also be used with a townhouse, fitted inside existing garages or serving as shared people movers in certain residential areas where the infrastructure would already be in place. In this case, you would simply order the vehicle and pay your fare with your smartphone.

The Designer

The Tridika concept was developed in collaboration with Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. He currently works as a freelance vehicle designer at the Indian Institute of Science. He also created the Drone Tower concept.

Status: Unbuilt

• This article was amended on 3 May 2018 to stress that the project is merely a conceptual proposal and has never been built. 

Charles Bombardier

Charles Bombardier

Mechanical engineer from Canada who has produced over 250 vehicle concepts. The works are published in his blog Imaginactive, founded in 2013 to inspire the next generations to dream, believe and build the vehicles of tomorrow.

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