BIG has been keeping busy with more than designing mountainous green-roofed buildings and drafting comic books. They've also been laying out plans for a driverless world, where compact electric cars navigate on smart streets to reduce pollution and traffic while meeting the changing needs of our urban environment. In theory, computer-controlled cars could move more efficiently with less accidents to create a city that dynamically transforms and adapts to life between buildings.
(Driver)Less is More is BIG’s entry in the Audi Urban Future Initiative — an international competition that challenges designers and architects to envision the world of tomorrow. BIG‘s proposal effectively alters our current urban transportation networks to create a pollutionless, noiseless, and driverless world. Applying the same rapid advancement in computer technology to the automobile industry, BIG figures that we are entirely capable of creating a highly-efficient urban transportation network by using compact electric vehicles and a smart street system. Computer-controlled vehicles have already been tested and proven to be effective; all that’s left is for us to move beyond the concept stages and develop the idea to its full potential.
The cars would base their movements on sensor readings and swarm theory algorithms to determine the optimal path between any two points. Smart streets built from solar-powered sensor tiles would help guide the cars around other cars, objects and pedestrians. This new transportation network would reduce the space necessary for cars driven at high speeds and create new public and pedestrian-friendly areas. Automobile fatalities and injuries from human error would be reduced, pollution would effectively be eliminated, and cities would be dramatically quieter.
Bjarke Ingels and BIG will be presenting the project on May 7-9th during ‘THE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS FOR THE NEW CITY’ at the Openhouse Gallery, 201 Mulberry Street, New York, New York. You can also hear more about it from Bjarke’s TEDTalk.