This might sound crazy but …
This might sound crazy but …
30 NOVEMBER 2018 8:22 AM

Someone came up with the idea of what is essentially a self-driving hotel room. It combines some already existing concepts, but it’s a pretty cool idea should it work at some point. The hotel industry should embrace these out-there ideas.

One of the fun things about crazy ideas is sometimes they work. Or they don’t, but they inspire someone else to work on something based on that idea that actually does work. Or maybe it still doesn’t, but somebody else entirely does something the other two didn’t and it works this time.

Anyway, there’s a fellow who came up with an idea for what he calls “The Autonomous Travel Suite,” USA Today reports. It’s a self-driving vehicle with what is essentially a hotel suite. It would have a mattress, a bathroom, a space for working and/or entertaining and a small kitchen. The creator predicts the electric vehicle could be ready to hit the road by 2030.

That’s nuts, right? Except every day is one day closer to when we actually have fully functional self-driving vehicles. Americans love road trips, and one in which they don’t actually have to drive and can simply enjoy the ride sounds like it would be a pretty nice way to see the country. I would imagine it wouldn’t take much to sell people on the idea. After all, it’s not exactly a new idea to try to make road trips more comfortable. People have been driving RVs for decades as they hit the highway.

Imagine it. A family reserves one of these vehicles and uses it to take a long trip, parking it at a branded property where the family can recharge the vehicle’s battery and then use the property’s “hotel” amenities, like a pool or fitness center. The family can explore the local area if that’s their ultimate destination, or they can pack up and head back on the road without actually having to stay the night because their beds are traveling with them.

These would be like high-speed trains that allow people to travel directly to where they want to go without having to figure out local transportation once they get there.

Come to think of it, why aren’t hotel companies supporting high-speed rail in the U.S.? If they are, I haven’t heard about it. Belmond is a hotel company that’s certainly in the train business, but why aren’t more hotel companies? There are hotel-branded cruises, so why not hotel-branded trains? Supporting the creation of a high-speed rail could (maybe?) lead to a new option for people to travel in the U.S., and if that happens, it sounds like a branding opportunity.

It’d be just like the self-driving hotel room. Travelers would stay in their branded compartments as they travel across the country for however long it takes. There’s a shuttle (or even a self-driving hotel room) that takes them from the train station to their hotel (package deal).

Will either of these two things happen? Probably not, but then again, who knows? Maybe something like one or the other (or both) will happen at some point. Many of the things we have now came out of a seemingly crazy idea. Maybe they’re not exactly what people had in mind originally, but that’s OK.

Everybody talks about innovation, but it only comes from ideas. Some ideas are more grounded. Others, not so much. Either way, if these ideas get people thinking and talking, maybe something useful could come out of them.

What are your thoughts of a self-driving hotel room sometime in the not-too-distant future? Are you on board? Too crazy? Let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me at or @HNN_Bryan.

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