As buildings grow taller, cities grow denser. Roadways in cities like New York are already being gobbled up to make room for more skyscrapers. With traffic jams a constant and tighter roads to navigate, the days of the modern semi-truck are numbered. Then again, the compact trucks that populate Europe's cobblestone streets aren't exactly practical for long hauls. The need for a single, practical solution to these problems was what drove Takbeom Heogh to design GelenK, his solution to tomorrow's shipping woes.
On the face of it, the GelenK concept might look like an RV built for the Tony Starks of the world. While it does offer some unique amenities for its drivers, what GelenK really does is take shipping into the age of the autonomous car. From their single-seat cockpits, truckers can keep tabs on roadway conditions and plot destinations through intelligent navigation stations. They can also decide if they're driving a single truck or four.
On the open road the GelenK is a single truck, but at the touch of a button it can split into three separate shipping containers. An extra compartment mounted directly behind the driver can either be used for cargo or living space. When separated, each cargo container switches on its in-wheel motors and autonomously drives itself to its destined distribution center, keeping tabs wirelessly, with the trucker all the while. At its destination, warehouse employees can interface with the container through a side-mounted touchscreen. Once the cargo is unloaded, the container is sent across town to its waiting driver.
While GelenK is separated, the living area in the truck's rear can be swiveled around, giving the driver access to what amounts to a studio apartment on wheels. When they reach the end of a haul, drivers will be rested, clean and won't even have to climb out of their rig. GelenK's driver's seat actually descends from its high vantage point, splitting the truck's face in half as it descends.
If the GelenK ever makes it to production, tomorrow's truckers could look a lot like visitors arriving from another planet.