Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Rolla is a mass-transit alternative system combing a step on, step off, low-speed autonomous electric vehicle with a ride-hailing App and central server, together acting as an alternative mass-transit for urban centers. Unique to Rolla is the open air architecture of the Vehicle providing 1-4 passengers with a view of the surroundings as they cruise at speeds similar to electric scooters, 8-12mph. As a system, Rolla can run pre-programmed routes to augment public transportation, be called on demand through the ride-hailing app, or function as a branded experience allowing local business to have Rolla bring patrons to their doorstep.
Urban centers are the heart of our society. Millions of people arriving daily for work, shopping, socializing and experience the city. Once arriving, people need to hop from spot to spot, often a mile or two away. Rolla is built for that mile or two travel, proving immediate, comfortable and elevated experience. Rolla reduces a 30-minute walk to a 5-minute ride without a significant impact to street congestion. The open-air feel Rolla provides an opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city during your commute, reminiscent of yesterday's cable cars when travelers felt connected to the street life and could hope on or off with ease. Shopping followed by theater and then a dinner without the sweat or hassle of unpleasant mass-transit, risky bike ride or getting stuck on an Uber car. Rolla operates in two mode, traveling on mainly on fixed routes during rush hours, while allowing personal ride-hailing as well. The Rolla App provides easy navigation and ride-hailing with possible dynamic fees and business opportunities for brands and local services.
The digital experience inside Rolla could be both functional (presenting route info) or atmospheric, with personalized music or theme, as well as guidance for the latest and greatest the town has to offer. Rolla can also be deployed for events, functioning as a shuttle solution between the event and local transportation hubs and parking. Additionally, employees at large business complexes or students at large universities, Rolla provides a safe and dedicated solution to travel on campus.
Rolla has a focused mission of relieving congestion while offering a small footprint mobility solution for cities and campuses. Rolla is not designed to replace transportation systems that solve long distance and/or high speed commutes. Rolla steps in for the final mile, or intra-city mobility needs, reducing a 30min walk to 5mins without a significant impact to street congestion and is small enough to operate in dedicated spaces, avoiding street traffic altogether. The open air feel Rolla provides an opportunity during the day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city during your commute, reminiscent of San Francisco's street cable cars from the past. Rolla can also be deployed for events, functioning as a shuttle solution between the event and local transportation hubs and parking. For employees at large business complexes or students at large universities, Rolla provides a safe and dedicated solution to travel on campus.
While Rolla is designed as a concept, as an alternative mass-transit, Rolla offers a unique economic strategy, a combination of private and public transportation. With that many business and financing opportunities arise: Fixed or Dynamic pricing for rides, sponsorships by local businesses or events and more. Rolla could also offer personalized or branded experiences with the associated revenue streams. Maintaining good economics around such mass-transit is essential for city governance and the quality of service.
Mass-transit is nearly impossible to get right. It costs Billions, takes decades to develop. It is subject to much politics and debate. Evolving it to city growing needs is slow and tough. Rolla is not designed to replace mass-transit systems altogether but to augment these at the urban center. Rolla is focused on relieving congestion with a cost-effective, flexible and scalable small footprint mobility. With the pandemic, some of the less-favorable sides of mass-transit became critical. People need the option of riding safely, alone or with friends. We need to be able to sanitize and maintain the system on a daily basis. We also need to allow elderly or families with kids an alternative to exhausting and risky bike or scooter rides. Rolla offers a footprint between smaller than Uber or personal cars to alleviate congestion and yet far more comfortable than a bike or a scooter.