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An interdisciplinary team of scientists from six different Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany has been working on how individual luxury mobility can be designed for the world in the year 2040. In a world where the focus will be on the circular economy and recycling along with significantly longer product service life cycles. At the same time, researchers anticipate that this world will also be determined by the desire for individualistic, rapidly changing lifestyles. A visionary mobility concept, the ‘Vision PI‘, is intended to build a bridge between these two facets.

Lounge or relaxation capsule

The vehicle concept can be designed flexibly and customized according to its intended use. The passenger cell is constructed in a modular way along the lines of the ‘shell principle.’ This means that the interior can be adapted to the individual needs of passengers. For example, the capsule can serve as a communication lounge during the day. While at night it can become a place of rest where passengers can relax during long-haul journeys.

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© Fraunhofer IAO

The inventors emphasize that the materials that are used are made of renewable raw materials. Or they are specially designed for their optimal recycling capabilities. In addition, the entire module can be part of different types of mobility carriers, such as a car platform, a flying taxi, or a hyperloop system. “It can also be transformed into an interactive virtual-reality lounge that enables limitless virtual travel around the whole world, thus contributing to an innovative component of new mobility and building designs,” according to the press release.

Modular, customizable and context-adaptive

“The foundation of our mobility concept is the autonomous, light, and personalized AllCell, which is compatible with various platforms. The AllCell can drive or fly, always under the power of the most efficient fuel,” explains Dr. Torben Seemann. In his current position as head of Smart Matrix Production at Fraunhofer IST (one of the member institutes of the Fraunhofer Project Center Wolfsburg), he is instrumental in driving the development of the mobility concept.

“Our concept is the luxury edition of individual travel. The exterior, interior, and information and communication technology are modular, customizable, and adaptive to the context. The interior of the AllCell can be easily modernized and is always on the cutting edge in terms of technology,” asserts Sebastian Stegmüller, head of the Mobility Innovation department at Fraunhofer IAO.

Another distinctive feature is the sustainable structure of the vehicle, which is divided into durable, reusable parts and expendable parts or design-relevant components. “The durable components are recycled after their end of life and reused in new vehicles. The non-durable parts are designed to achieve material recycling levels of nearly 100 percent,” explains Dr. Philipp Rosenberg, head of the lightweight structures group at Fraunhofer ICT.

The project was carried out by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing and Advanced Materials IFAM, the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU and the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, the Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI.