Information on the vehicle concept

The concept

The autonomous, driverless, U-Shift electric vehicle concept enables a new type of modularity by separating the driving module from the transport capsule, thus creating new intermodality, new products and business models. The drive module can be used in combination with various capsule types to transport both passengers and goods. Examples of applications include autonomous, electromobile night delivery, autonomous intra-logistics and barrier-free passenger transport.

Impressions of the vehicle design



The autonomous drive module integrates all components and systems necessary for driving. In addition to the electrical drive, battery and automation components, the Driveboard has an integrated lifting system for easy and quick replacement of different types of capsules.  The capsules are changed ‘on-the-road’, i.e. during operation, to enable new transport and mobility services.
•    Autonomous (SAE5), flexible, standardisable
•    Electrical drive system
•    High utilisation factor (24/7) and quiet night operation


The capsules are equipped with only the most essential technical equipment and can therefore be produced cost-effectively.

  • Customised and flexible
  • Needs-based: A variety of capsules used in passenger transport (people mover, private capsule) and in commercial transport (delivery transport, service,   recyclable material capsule).
  • ‘Simple’, light and cost-effective



The automation is much more closely linked to the infrastructure than today's Cooperative Automated Driving (CAD) approaches. U-Shift takes automation to the next level – Managed Automated Driving (MAD) is a key element of this:
•    Protection via infrastructure sensors
•    Management via traffic control centre
•    Optimised use of road infrastructure

U-Shift premiere at the Strategy Dialogue of the Automotive Industry BW on 17th September, 2020

On 17.09.2020, U-Shift could be experienced "live" for the first time. The vehicle prototype built as part of the U-Shift project was presented at the digital interim balance conference.




Current project initiatives

  • U-Shift II - Development of a research carrier for the investigation of vehicle-specific U-Shift research question
  • MAD Urban - Concept development and demonstration of MAD - Managed Automated Driving
  • U-Shift 33 - Development and setup of a U-Shift driveboard for MAD


Completed projects

  •   U-Shift MAD - "Managed Automated Driving" study on the registration capability and economic viability of U-Shift
  •   ModECaP - Feasibility study on the U-Shift vehicle concept
  •   U-Shift I - (Mock-Up): Development of a 1:1 model
  • U-Shift Show – Demonstration of U-Shift in the EU project "Show"




Idea workshop for the mobility of tomorrow

Be there when the German Aerospace Center presents new ideas for tomorrow's mobility and develops them further with you. The "U-Shift" vehicle transports people or goods without a driver. You will receive information about the vehicle and experience it in virtual reality using VR glasses. In an ideas workshop, you will design visions for the use of the U-Shift together with us. Your creativity is in demand - everyone is welcome! Come anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., no registration is required.


U-Shift at polisMOBILITY 2022

“The future of mobility is shaped by the different requirements of urban areas and rural regions. The need to be mobile is constantly increasing - and with it the negative consequences of traffic such as traffic jams, exhaust fumes and noise, but also the lack of availability. DLR shows ways to make mobility climate-friendly, efficient, safe and close to people's needs.....

Go to Article