written by:
February 28, 2014
More and more, technology determines how we move. Whether we're behind the wheel of a car, perched on a bicycle seat, or hoofing it on foot, technology often makes the difference between a satisfying or infuriating trip. Techie tools and philosophical shifts, from in-car touch screens to vehicles with minds of their own, are elevating mobility to surprising heights. In the automotive sector, hybrid technology is evolving by leaps and bounds. As automotive editor and writer Paul Meyers said in our panel on the Future of Mobility during Modernism Week in Palm Springs, "Every manufacturer has a version of a hybrid, and full electric [cars] are making strides. People are working out the kinks." According to Anders Tylman-Mikiewicz of Volvo's Monitoring and Concept Center, hybrid plans were in place as early as 1992, but "the technology was not really there to create the product for the consumer." We look forward to seeing how this might translate to every other sector of mobility in the future.

Autonomous cars are being tested around the world, but Volvo has an even grander plan, once its technology has been fully developed over the next few years: “Drive Me—Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility,” will gather 100 driverless cars for a 30-mile drive around Gothenburg in 2017.

Image courtesy of the Telegraph

1 / 7

Of course, with technological exploration comes risk; at least, perhaps, when volatile chemicals are involved. A recent segment of DnA: Design and Architecture on the Los Angeles radio station KCRW hosted by Frances Anderton delved into autonomous cars and the hypothetical Hyperloop train, two high-tech mobility ventures that challenge our safety comfort zone.

Image courtesy wired.com 

2 / 7

Dwell Media recently joined Swedish luxury automobile manufacturer Volvo for Modernism Week in Palm Springs. Among the fantastic reveals? Designer Alvin Huang’s Pure Tension Pavilion, a rapidly deployable and portable solar charging station created to power up Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid, the world’s first Diesel Plug-in Hybrid. The free-standing tensioned membrane structure, made from Fabric Images fabric architecture, is the result of a Volvo contest. It fits in the trunk and shades the car while it charges.

Of the technological shifts that have propelled our means of mobility, Huang said, "When the car first came about, we used to call it the horseless carriage; we don't really think about the fact that there used to be a horse. So right now, we're calling it a hybrid car, and I don't really know what it's going to be later, but I have a feeling it may not be a car."

3 / 7

It was only a matter of time before the tech sector responded to all of the transit options available with mobile apps. But now, drivers can access apps from behind the wheel with in-car touch screens that mimic smartphones. The Car Connectivity Consortium's MirrorLink program, for example, displays apps that let drivers share location, parking and traffic hazard information.

4 / 7

Autonomous vehicle technology extends beyond cars, however. In the serene Danish countryside, 15 miles northwest of bustling Copenhagen, autonomous robots transported pallets of veneer down the aisles of Fritz Hansen’s 161,000-square-foot chair factory back in 2009.  

5 / 7

Retro-inspired bicycles may be of-the-moment, but the latest technologically sophisticated bikes are just as eye-catching. From data-driven power meters that measure a cyclist's output to ultra-light bikes weighing less than 1,000 grams to aerodynamic models with linear-pull style cantilever brakes, riding a bike has never been quite so techie.Photo by Peter Belanger. 

6 / 7

Car accidents and fatalities resulting from human error have led some to conclude that humans are simply unfit for driving. At Dwell on Design in 2009, Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers of San Francisco experimental industrial design studio mike and maaike posed the idea that, eventually, we could be downloading different drivers to keep us safer.  

7 / 7
4 driverless car volvo 2014

Autonomous cars are being tested around the world, but Volvo has an even grander plan, once its technology has been fully developed over the next few years: “Drive Me—Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility,” will gather 100 driverless cars for a 30-mile drive around Gothenburg in 2017.

Image courtesy of the Telegraph

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016
street smarts kitchen full view
A creative couple transforms an old Toronto storefront in Dundas West into a home and studio.
April 26, 2016
hald strand
This architect thinks of everything for his summer escape, pizza oven included.
April 26, 2016
gans turin residence living room
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.
April 25, 2016
131
Johannesburg-based design studio Counterspace was founded in 2014 by young architecture graduates Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar. Their projects are collaborative, research-led investigations into possible futures and ideas of otherness in Johannesburg.
April 25, 2016
through living room
A second-story addition and a new indoor-outdoor focus revive a nondescript house in L.A.
April 25, 2016
Modern living room with Flexform sofa and Jens Fager candelabra
An Antwerp home blurs the boundaries between art and design.
April 25, 2016
hillside haven  1
This backyard is its own modern retreat in the Berkeley Hills.
April 25, 2016
Two studios flanks a central volume at this home in Mexico
Art and life meet in the middle at a family retreat in Central Mexico.
April 24, 2016
natural instinct swedish family home kitchen table unfold pendants muuto lilla aland chairs stolab
With Alvar Aalto in mind, a renowned Swedish architect crafts a serene home on a long-held family plot.
April 24, 2016
clearing the table coffee tables boxinbox philippe starck glas italia storage
A half-century later, furniture designers are catching up to painter Yves Klein’s visionary Table Bleue.
April 23, 2016
A deck looks out onto the beach in Australia
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 23, 2016
against the grain sustainable hudson new york home black walnut flooring furniture
An architect-turned-falconer considers animals and nature when designing his own home.
April 23, 2016
Aerial view of Copenhagen
@littlemycph finds symmetry in buildings and streets.
April 22, 2016
Josué Azor retuned to his family’s plot to build a new home, designed to resist future quakes and decorated with custom artwork and furniture.
In the wake of a catastrophic earthquake, a young Haitian photographer builds anew.
April 22, 2016
backyard with outdoor shower concrete pavers and wood fence
A hillside Virginia home located on a notch between two ridges is fun for the whole family.
April 22, 2016
Twin houses in Canada
Twin cabins rise together on charming Chaleur Bay in New Brunswick.
April 22, 2016
toy story industrial kitchen los angeles renovation toy lofts brass shelves steel wall hayneedle pot rack verona range
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 22, 2016