While it wasn’t busy commanding a mole to dig through the Martian topsoil, German Aerospace Center (DLR) has come with a futuristic vehicle concept unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Its U-shift vehicle concept is designed to transform itself into anything from a cargo pod, an on-call bus, or even a mobile sales vehicle. It does so by switching out capsule-like structures attached to the top, reminiscent of a scaled down semi truck.
The outrageous concept lies extremely low to the ground, as there’s no need for a driver’s seat — the system is designed to drive entirely by itself.
DLR claims the capsules would be cheaper than other specialty-use vehicles — since they don’t require building an entirely new drivetrain every time — and can serve a whole host of different purposes.
The concept’s cargo capsule alone has enough space for four pallets or eight rolling cabinets, according to the center. The passenger pod is big enough to seat seven, plus an extra folding seat.
While it’s designed to become fully autonomous, the futuristic prototype, as it exists right now, is remote-controlled by a nearby driver. Once autonomous, it’s designed to make deliveries or transport passengers around the clock.
DLR is now focused on beefing up the concept’s drivetrain, install networking hardware, and make other improvements including a new battery system.