ETC

German motorhome manufacturer Hymer introduced a concept named Galileo that argues autonomous technology will make motels obsolete in a distant future. The boxy, glass-walled design study drives itself so its occupants can enjoy the view without needing to keep an eye on the road ahead, and get a full night's sleep without stopping when they're ready to call it a day.

From the outside, Hymer's Galileo looks a lot like the dozens of box-shaped concept shuttles we've seen at major auto and tech shows in recent years. It has the proportions of a toaster oven, sliding side doors, and wheels pushed as far out as possible. It's very city bus-like, in other words. This configuration makes even more sense here than it does in urban-dwelling robo-taxis, because it allowed designers to create a generously-sized living space within a relatively small footprint.

The Galileo concept rides on a skateboard chassis that integrates the battery pack, the electric motors, electronic components, and structural parts. Hymer explained this configuration allows it to build a wide range of motorhomes on one basic platform. The chassis can accommodate a two-person luxury loft on wheels, or a family-friendly snow chalet with bunk beds — at least theoretically. It's still a concept at this stage, and one that exists solely in computer-generated images. That's why its maximum driving range and other technical specifications haven't been released yet.

While Hymer has already dabbled in autonomous technology, there's no indication it plans to release a Galileo-like motorhome in the coming years. The concept merely explores what trekking across a continent might look like in the year 2030 if self-driving tech advances at a rapid pace and if regulations keep up. The VisionVenture camper unveiled by the firm in September 2019 provides a much more realistic look at how the motorhome segment will evolve during the 2020s.


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