Autonomous vehicle concept in research operation
5/31/2023 Future Mobility News

Autonomous vehicle concept in research operation

From mid-April to mid-October 2023, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will be bringing the urban mobility of the future to life in research operation. The futuristic vehicle concept U-Shift is emission-free, automated, safe and quiet on the road in Spinelli Park in Mannheim. Special capsules make it possible to transport people and goods.

U-Shift is waiting to be used at BUGA 23
For six months - from mid-April to mid-October 2023 - the futuristic vehicle concept U-Shift will be on the road at the German National Garden Show (BUGA) in Mannheim. A DLR pavilion made of sustainable, recycled materials is part of the experimental field and is in the northern area of Spinelli Park. Two prototypes have their home there: one of them is in research operation on a test track equipped for this purpose. As part of the research operation, it is also possible to take a test ride. The other prototype demonstrates how the change of the special transport capsules works. 

"[...] This is how we show how modern science works and bring technology into application," says Karsten Lemmer, member of the DLR Executive Board and responsible for Innovation, Transfer and Scientific Infrastructures.

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Making of: DLR vehicle concept U-Shift

Intelligent and demand-oriented mobility

U-Shift consists of two components: The high-tech for driving is located in the U-shaped driveboard. This autonomously driving vehicle takes different transport capsules, depending on whether people or goods are to be transported. This enables intelligent, demand-oriented and resource-saving mobility. Due to its flexibility, it is suitable for use as an on-demand shuttle, a high-tech call bus, a flexible distribution centre for goods and parcels or a mobile sales outlet.

"The U-Shift project links future technologies with future topics: These include emission-free drives, autonomous driving, digitalisation and new approaches for smart, demand-oriented and economical mobility," describes Tjark Siefkes, Director of the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts. In the summer of 2023, the U-Shift should be driving between people in fully automated mode. Until then, the vehicle will be controlled by joystick or remote control.
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