Covalent is a future-based autonomous car sharing service designed to deliver a new relationship with freedom. It imagines the “Uber” of fully autonomous cars with the intuitive AI of a Nest product. The name comes from covalent bonds which are between atoms with shareable electrons. Similarly, Covalent utilizes the time when autonomous vehicles are not being used by their owners to understand and service the needs of other users at both the individual and community level. Using intuitive AI, autonomous Covalent cars would blend the lines between personal transportation and mass transit.

Over time, the evolution of mobility and transportation seems to be removing control from the human. We used to ride horses and now we ride chairs…inside cars that drive themselves. Infrastructure, regulations, and profit have played key roles in the evolution of transportation. Covalent invites you to imagine a future scenario of smart transportation designed for the human relationship to freedom.

The research touched upon the past, present, and future relationships with getting from A to B across a wide variety of experiences ranging from extreme sports to global mass transit. Several themes came from the research, with the strongest being a sense of freedom that is influenced by dynamic parameters of trust and control.

The concept sprouted from this question: How might we bring forth the benefits of autonomous transportation in a way that services a user’s relationship with trust, control, and freedom?

The greatest learnings were found in experience prototyping with Uber drivers, users of Tesla’s present day Autopilot software, and common car owners of Copenhagen. Co-creation sessions with Thomas Bove, a UX designer at Volvo, really helped to expand the scope of thought regarding the hypothetical implementation of such a concept.