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The Maui autonomous surfboard delivery vehicle and rental shop. (Rendering provided by Charles Bombardier)
The Maui autonomous surfboard delivery vehicle and rental shop. (Rendering provided by Charles Bombardier)


An autonomous surfboard delivery vehicle and rental shop Add to ...

Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The Maui is an autonomous surfboard delivery vehicle that works in combination with new rental operators. It would offer a surfboard rental service at local public beaches, including smaller coves. The Maui would be able to ride on existing streets, sidewalks, or bike paths.

Renderings provided by Charles Bombardier

The background

Across the world, there are dozens of bike rental systems in our cities. What if we could develop a similar system to rent surfboards or snorkeling equipment on beaches? With the arrival of driverless technology and advanced payment systems, we could envision new types of vehicles designed to rent and even sell surfboards and other equipment.

How it works

The Maui’s power would come from a hydrogen fuel cell or a battery pack that would provide traction to its four wheels (4WD could be optional). The fuel cell or battery pack would be located under the floor, or the vehicle could also be engineered to run using propane gas.

The Maui would feature a cargo space to store surfboards on each side. A locking mechanism similar to the systems used for bike rental would keep the boards safe. It would be shaped to carry up to 36 surfboards. Pricing would be based on distance covered, local demand, and the quality of each board. Invoicing and tracking would be similar to what’s already in use.

Clients would be able to call a Maui at the beach with an app if it’s not there. Most types of surfboards could be offered (the drawing shows only one type), including boards for novices or experts. Manufacturers could even use this system to showcase their new board and allow surfers to try them out like demo equipment.

What it’s used for

The Maui would help save everyone time and money by offering a service to remote places like hidden local beaches where there are few people. It would be easier to see them and they could be operated by new entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily have the required capital to rent a shop, stock it with new gear, and support employees.

The designer

I would like to thank Martin Rico, who created the images of the Maui concept. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. He also designed the Seataci Yacht concept and the Mercuri personal electric aircraft.

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