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IKEA Meets Self-Driving Cars

The company once known solely for its innovative flat-pack furniture is transforming itself in line with the tech-society we live in today. Having acquired the ‘gig-economy platform’ TaskRabbit – the startup that lets users hire temporary workers to do odd-jobs – introduced electronics and smart appliances to their line of products, and collaborated with major companies like Adidas and Lego on product design, it seems the Swedish furniture giant is dipping its toes into the tech industry. What’s next? Transportation.

The company’s innovation lab Space10 has revealed it is looking into the much talked about development of the self-driving car. A collaboration between the IKEA lab and the design studio Foam has led to the release of seven concepts aimed to encourage people to change their immediate thoughts on car interiors. The concepts are of a simple design – IKEA has always championed minimalism – and include: a grocery car, a coffee car, and a hotel car.

What may seem like bizarre notions for the inside of a car are actually not impossible considerations. It is generally accepted that self-driving cars will change all aspects of the cars we know today; from the inside out. As Space10 co-founder Simon Casperson told Fast Company: ‘The day fully autonomous vehicles hit our streets is the day cars are not cars anymore. They can be anything.’

Despite having fresh ideas on transport interiors and their provided services, Ike has no intention to manufacture cars themselves. The company see the future of transport as the blurring of the category of ‘transport’; as the point where: ‘we no longer are designing cars, but rather small spaces.’

Sharing these concepts gives a hint to the progression of the lifestyle company and how it is continuously future-proofing itself. It’s also a hint at how we could be receiving our future online orders – via an self-driving IKEA showroom?


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