Housing is incredibly expensive in many major cities.
Some people try to cope with high housing prices by living in their cars.
However, it is generally illegal to sleep in a parked vehicle. Additionally, there are often restrictions on vehicle height for parked vehicles.
None of the caveats above apply to a moving vehicle.
The “Motel-on-the-Move” is a standard tour bus that has been converted into a mobile housing development. By partitioning the bus along its length (like an old railroad sleeper car, or a Japanese capsule hotel), somewhere between 8 and 48 miniature housing units could be fit into a single bus.
This bus would constantly drive around the city, on a set route, to accomplish two goals:
1) By avoiding parking, the inhabitants would not be in violation of city ordinances prohibiting habitation in vehicles.
2) By traveling through the city, the bus-dwellers could obtain door-to-door service to their places of work. The bus’s route could be optimized for the specific inhabitants.
Additionally, there might be tax implications; perhaps the bus could spent part of the year in locations with lower tax rates, allowing the residents to potentially benefit from reduced income tax rates.
Fig 1: The “Motel on the Move” would be a converted tour bus that would constantly drive throughout a high-rent city. Each door here in the diagram (blue doors on the “ground” level, yellow doors on the “mezzanine”) corresponds to a single extremely cramped studio apartment.
Fig 2: A hypothetical floor plan for each unit. A): A bed that can be folded against the wall. B) A convenient window-side chair for reading. C) A window to the outside. D) Apartment door. Opens directly onto the street. E) Extra space for shelves and/or folding tables. F) A drain in the floor. Area “F” doubles as an extremely-low-flow shower. G) Toilet. H) Sink, above the toilet, for maximum space efficiency. A shower head on a flexible nozzle would also allow for showers to be taken in the F-G-H area of the apartment. Resident water usage would have to be strictly limited due to space and weight constraints on the bus.
Fig 3: Units could be crammed together vertically by taking advantage of the fact that a 7-foot ceiling is not absolutely necessary across the entire unit. Above, a red unit is stacked on top of the blue unit. In the blue lower unit, the low-ceilinged area on the left would contain a bed (like the bottom bunk on a submarine). In the top unit, the bed would be on a “platform” (really the ceiling of the blue unit) on the right.
The cost of running a bus 24/7 and paying for a driver (or scheduling the residents to drive it) might offset some of the rent savings.
PROS: Could stimulate the automotive industry. Capsule hotel industry can serve as a template for obtaining venture capital funding.
CONS: Ecologically questionable.