The German Aerospace Center Unveils U-Shift and a Futuristic Rescue Mobility Concept
Autonomous vehicles with capsule-shaped structures, intelligent road intersections, helicopters communicating with drones, and self-driving cars – these aren’t bits from a Sci-Fi movie, but elements of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)’s vision for the future of mobility.
One of the most important mobility events, the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) World Congress is welcoming its first guests today, in Hamburg, Germany. DLR, one of the major transport research institutions in Europe, will be showcasing its most recent developments, including live demonstrations of its innovative technologies.
One of the stars of the exhibition will be the U-Shift concept vehicle. DLR will showcase the first drivable prototype of this modular vehicle that combines self-driving technology with electric propulsion and a remarkably flexible design. The unusual concept integrates a U-shaped power train unit, containing all the technical components, with a capsule-like structure that can be adapted for passenger transport or cargo delivery.
Thanks to this versatile build, the U-Shift vehicle has a wide range of potential applications, from shared mobility to shops-on-wheels.
DLR will also be performing a live demonstration of the Air2X project, meant to improve speed and safety when it comes to helicopter rescue operations on public roads. Using advanced communication technology, the helicopter crew will first send a signal to drones nearby, to clear the airspace, for the rescue operation.
Then, autonomous and networked vehicles in the area will be informed in regards to the planned landing area, so that they can form a barrier for the vehicles behind them. This way, the rescue helicopter can act much faster and land safely.
Another innovative DLR project, called VITAL, is based on the communication between vehicles and infrastructure. Smart road junctions could control traffic in a safer and more effective way, by using data provided through communication with vehicles, to determine current traffic conditions and improve the traffic lights system.