Foster + Partners has just unveiled its winning design scheme for a new urban destination in China, the Guangming Hub located on the high-speed rail connecting Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. In fact, the Transport Oriented Development proposal generates a “smart city that supports the flow of people and goods with robust infrastructure, effective transport networks, reliable public services, and lush greenery”.
Autonomous Vehicles: The Latest Architecture and News
Foster + Partners Wins Competition to Design Guangming Hub, a New Transport Oriented Development in China
Carlo Ratti Associati has teamed up with Makr Shakr, the world’s leading producer of robotic bartending systems, to design a driverless robotic bar which “aims to propose new on-demand ways to enjoy leisure in cities.” GUIDO (Italian for “I drive”) features two mechanical arms with the ability to precisely prepare and serve drinks in seconds, mounted atop an autonomous vehicular platform.
Self-driving technology allows GUIDO to weave through the built environment, responding to bookings from a customer app. As orders are placed through the app, GUIDO sources the cocktail’s components from bottles stored on the counter, and prepares the drink on site. GUIDO’s system also performs ID age verification and supports paying via mobile phone.
Car manufacturer Jaguar has teamed up with architect Tom Barton of Barr Gazetas to imagine the consequences of an electrified automotive future on cities. Taking four case studies across the United Kingdom, the team speculated on existing infrastructural issues, and the opportunities for improvement made possible by the advent of electric cars.
With 180,000 electric vehicles on UK roads in 2018 and 1 million estimated by 2020, the case studies imagine a future where green alternatives to fossil fuels power transport and buildings in zero-emission cities. Below, we have republished the four scenarios, featuring a motorway, inner-city car park, industrial wasteland, and a wider urban landscape.
The state of Illinois has launched a new testing program for connected and automated vehicles. Called Autonomous Illinois, the research initiative was announced by Governor Bruce Rauner's office. As Curbed Chicago reports, Created by executive order, multiagency program will be state-wide and led by the Illinois Department of Transportation to advance the state’s research in self-driving cars.
Since the concept of driverless cars first became a serious prospect, a lot of attention has been given to the possibility of their malfunction—if an autonomous vehicle damages property or even harms a human, who is at fault? And, given a worst-case scenario, how should a vehicle's software choose between whose lives it prioritizes, the passenger or the pedestrian? This last question even became the basis for the Moral Machine, an online platform created by the MIT Media Lab that essentially crowdsources public opinion on different variations of the classic trolley problem thought experiment.
However, all of these questions had been considered largely theoretical until last night when, as The New York Times reports, a woman was struck and killed by an autonomous vehicle in Tempe, Arizona. As a major component of many predictions of futuristic "smart cities," the development and testing of autonomous vehicles hold huge implications for urbanism (ArchDaily has previously covered predictions of major change by car manufacturers and researchers) meaning that this fatal event could have a ripple effect on the development of cities.
The drive to introduce autonomous vehicles to the roads took a blow yesterday, when a self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas was involved in a minor collision with a truck—just 2 hours into the vehicle's first day of operations. The bus, a 12-seat Navya Arma, was on the first day a 12-month trial covering a 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) loop in Las Vegas' Fremont East “Innovation District” when it was grazed by a reversing truck.
In a blog post by the city of Las Vegas, the blame was placed on the driver of the truck, who was cited by city officials for illegal backing. However, according to The Guardian, passengers at the time said the crash could have been avoided if the shuttle had simply backed out of the truck's way.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan proposed the challenge -- how does London become a designated National Park City-- and WATG, London-based landscape team, headed by Demet Karaoglu, accepted the challenge. In addressing the Mayor’s challenge, the team worked with Daniel Raven-Ellison, Guerrilla Geographer and Creative Explorer leading London’s campaign to become the world’s first National Park City.
Installation Showing the Perspective of a Self-Driving Car Aims to Evoke Empathy for Artificial Intelligence
Driver Less Vision, an installation at the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism by Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, Urtzi Grau and Daniel Perlin, is an immersive 3D video experience comprised of spatial scans of Seoul, projected into a dome and paired with surround sound. The supporting audio is the internal monologue of a personified autonomous vehicle, driving through the streets of a future Seoul, Korea. The installation transports vierers to the front seat of the autonomous vehicle, providing a new perspective of traversing cities—through the car’s point of view.