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Exploration in autonomous, solar-powered transportation network.

Team Members:
Joseph Sarafian

Xueqi Bai

Xianshuang Zeng

Sruthi Kumar



We are interested in exploring the relationship between an autonomous and a networked society. In the Mid review, we were challenged with the question, “How do you address the loss of freedom that comes with autonomous cars?” While it is true one might sacrifice freedom to go speeding on the freeway, we believe that autonomous vehicles represent a new kind of freedom. A freedom that lets you take a nap or check email on your way to work (something we are starting to do already).


Our site is the Venice Beach/ Marina Del Rey Area, where the Median income is $84,000 and the median age is 35. With Silicon Beach emerging as a target for young tech start-ups, the field is ripe for a generation of young, affluent early adapters to embrace a technology and an infrastructure that will shatter our preconceptions of private transportation. We are proposing a vehicle that dispatches from proposed metro stations that pick up the user when called, then return to the station. Instead of charging on a grid, they charge independently by the sun. They continuously traverse the roof of each station, which is optimized for solar radiation exposure and return to the ground plane when called. These hubs are designed to interface between human and vehicle movement, creating a fabric that can be pushed and pulled according to circulation and sunlight needs.

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