A spoked wheel has an important property which is not immediately apparent to people who have not worked on them. Every spoke is contributing to maintaining the shape of the wheel in the face of extreme forces. In this case your only hope is to use an extremely thick and heavy piece of metal to maintain the hoop shape. And with this particular design, as soon as that hoop collapses or even slightly deforms, your wheel will jam.
As for the lack of chain, imagine your jeans/dress getting caught in that geared wheel. At least with a crank/chain you can stop pedaling when that happens, in this case you could very well lose a leg. And you aren't even gaining anything, because now the rim of the rear wheel has to be kept meticulously clear of debris or else risk a jammed wheel. Good luck doing that on a rainy day riding through puddles.
For a good commuter design, your best bet is to go with a chain cover like what's seen on dutch bikes. Reliability, easy maintenance, cheap parts, what else could a commuter want? Plus you can add fenders and a rack.