An interdisciplinary team from Fraunhofer has developed a new modular futuristic mobility concept called ‘Vision PI‘.
According to the six Fraunhofer Institutes (ICT, IST, IAO, IFAM, IWU and WKI), Vision PI is an amalgamation of the idea of a circular economy with products offering significantly longer lives. It is meant to be flexible and individually designed depending on the intended use.
The concept calls for a modular passenger cell, following the logic of a shell principle, that can be flexibly adapted to the individual needs of the travelers: during the day, it serves as a communicative lounge; at night, it becomes a peaceful capsule for rest and recovery on long-haul trips.
The scientists contend that the interior too can be adjusted flexibly and adapted in terms of settings; the materials used are made from renewable sources or are designed to optimize their ability to be reused or recycled.
Moreover, the entire module can be coupled with various mobility bases – with a vehicle platform, an air taxi, or a Hyperloop solution, depending on the need.
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.
Vision PI was one of five recommendations taken by Fraunhofer to the #NEXTGen Moving Tomorrow Pitch, an idea competition organized by BMW to find a “visionary, sustainable, and holistic complete concept for mobility in 2040.”
Being the only non-university research institute to take part in the competition, Fraunhofer’s Vision PI team has made it into the top three with its idea of an individual passenger cell.
“The foundation of our mobility concept is the autonomous, light, and personalized AllCell, which is compatible with various platforms,” explains Dr. Torben Seemann, head of Smart Matrix Production at Fraunhofer IST.
“It can drive or fly, always under the power of the most efficient fuel.”
Another special feature of the concept is the vehicle’s sustainable structure, notes Philipp Rosenberg, head of the lightweight structures group at Fraunhofer ICT.
The non-durable parts are designed to achieve material recycling levels of nearly 100%.
The durable components on the other hand can be recycled after their end of life and reused in new vehicles.
Image and content: Fraunhofer IAO