Prototypes introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some are extensions of existing concepts, others new, some production-ready, others far-fetched.
The Iris concept is a two-part system, which would allow online retailers such as Amazon to deliver packages right to your condo by using pilotless drone carriers placed on top of modified mid-sized automated metros.
Recently, Amazon's Department of Ideas invited me to participate in its Radical Transportation Urban Salon. At the time, I was working with Martin Rico on a special train concept called the 'Randvu' (short for Rendez-vous), and Amazon's invitation gave me the idea for the 'Iris.' Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the event, but we did create this concept.
How It Works
The Iris aims to speed up package delivery time by shipping products from the distribution centre located in a city's industrial district directly to your condominium's balcony. It combines parts of our Drone Tower, Upex and Ecotranzit concepts, and it could become a reality since it uses existing rail infrastructure and technology.
The Iris trains would run on electric motors and recharge their batteries through wireless inductive charging stations located along the rail tracks. The train's interior would look like a cargo bay where all packages would be piled in their order of delivery. Robotic conveyors would position each package on the roof so that delivery drones would be able to easily pick them up.
It would take a lot of drones to deliver all the packages from an Iris, but this could be done in off-peak traffic hours. The drones' batteries could also be swapped during a pick-up to reduce down time, and a spare battery conveyor could be used for that specific job.
Some packages will be heavier to transport and will require more powerful drones. I imagine that heavier packages will have specially designated common areas for drop shipments. Regulations for these new kinds of delivery systems will need to be built, and we hope that the Iris will help raise some questions in advance to speed up the legal process.
What It's Used For
Consumers will always need supplies, and the faster they can get them at home or work, the better. Maybe one day companies DHL, UPS and Federal Express will start ordering rolling stock equipment like the IRIS to deliver their packages to your porch or balcony. And maybe Amazon will even go a step further and control the distribution from the factory to your balcony.
Martin Rico created the images of the Iris concept. Rico lives near Buenos Aires. He studied design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a freelance industrial designer. Rico also designed the Seataci Yacht concept and the Sutton and Maui Snowboard and Surfboard mobile rental units. I would like to also thank Ashish Thulkar, who agreed to share his Drone Tower 3D Model with Rico.