The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the lives of billions of people in fundamental ways and will continue to do so for months, if not years, to come.
Transportation is no exception, with people growing more wary of using public transport for fear of catching the virus. Social distancing has also impacted public transportation, while the flow of traffic has been affected by the increased number of deliveries.
In this context, personal mobility is seeing a boost and the race is on for designing the most adequate vehicle for these challenging times. According to Ford, the Muvone concept developed by Staffordshire University transport design graduate Marius Lochner is a promising project.
Ford has given it the “New Norm Mobility Award”, the top prize in a competition that “challenged design graduates to develop mobility concepts, ideas and solutions that address the new scenarios presented by COVID-19.”
Muvone is described as a unique solution that could help people, particularly those with restricted mobility, get around safely and securely while also adhering to social distancing. Essentially a self-driving taxi for one, hence the name, Muvone places emphasis on secure individual mobility, enabling people to travel where and when they want in comfort. Given its ease of accessibility, the designer believes Muvone is also highly suitable for senior citizens and people with restricted mobility.
The concept features a minimalist interior with flat surfaces and easy-to-clean materials, allowing it to be disinfected between journeys. Part of the “New Designers Awards”, the largest design graduate show in the UK, the “New Norm Mobility Award” brought Lochner a £1,000 (€1,120) check plus a semester of mentoring from Ford of Europe chief designers Ernst Reim and Sonja Vandenberk.