U-Shift prototype

Futuristic vehicle concept for modularisation on-the-road

On-demand shuttle, flexible distribution centre for parcels or mobile shop – with the disruptive vehicle concept U-Shift, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is breathing new life into the urban mobility and logistics of tomorrow. As a highlight, DLR will be showing the first drivable prototype at IAA Mobility 2021.

Modular design – driveboard combined with a pod

This concept’s main feature – it separates the drive unit, referred to as the ‘driveboard’, from the pod-shaped superstructures for passengers or cargo. The U-shaped driveboard houses all technical components and systems. This makes it autonomous, electric and quiet when on the move. To maximise efficiency, the driveboard can be operated around the clock. The pods, which are much cheaper to manufacture, can be designed for a wide variety of applications.

The driveboard is currently still remote-controlled and is being automated in the current project. The first version of the passenger capsule is equipped with seven fixed seats and one folding seat/wheelchair space. A large door with an integrated ramp provides access for passengers with reduced mobility.

Mobility of tomorrow – test, learn and optimise

The first U-Shift prototype gives DLR researchers the opportunity to gain initial experience with this disruptive vehicle concept and its diverse application scenarios. The goal is to make tomorrow’s mobility more sustainable, efficient and comfortable while enabling new products, services and business models to emerge.
The technical vehicle development is being accompanied by a dialogue with members of the public. The team provides insights into the project and takes on board ideas from the community. The focus is on use cases and future visions for the application of the U-Shift vehicle concept.

The U-Shift I prototype was developed as part of the Baden-Württemberg Automotive Industry Strategy Dialogue with the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts and its partners, the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (FAST & ITIV) and Ulm University (MRM).

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Dr. Marco Münster · E-Mail u-shift@dlr.de