USF (Ultra Small Footprint) Vehicle was a sponsored project for GenZe by Mahindra, the objective was to design a vehicle for the next generation (Generation Z) for one of largest cities of the future.
USF has been designed around the city of Tokyo for the year 2025, with the aim at bringing excitement back into the commuter day to day travels. The city of Tokyo, while it has an extremely efficient transportation system that arrives promptly, all of the commuter trains are grossly over capacity, some as close as 200%, which leads to a dismal commute to work.
Designer : Alex Langensiepen for GenZe by Mahindra
The inspiration of the vehicle came from science fiction themes like Tron, the idea of having a vehicle disappear and re appear on command was awe inspiring. Langensiepen wanted to take the excitement of a two wheeled vehicle and adapt it to the needs of Japan’s aging population, so consumers, both young and old can have a fun experience commuting to work, as opposed to being scrunched into public transportation, breathing everyone’s air. The process for which the vehicle was designed was a combination of sketching and exploring structural forms in paper folding and origami.
The weather protection system is a single windshield which is supported by arms that move along a rail within the wheel structure. They are linked to weather sensors to know in what direction the rain is coming from relative to the vehicles motion, which offers basic weather protection while still providing an open air feel.
The vehicles motor, battery system, and protective structure are all housed within the two large wheels on either side of the seat, utilizing the most space possible while saving weight. Items such as groceries or a backpack can be stowed away under the seat.
The magic behind USF lies in its ability to collapse its width, thanks to the materials and structure. Unlike a conventional wheelchair design, the vehicle’s seat is composed of rigid composite frame, while the center is a combination of leather with an under layer of plastic honeycomb, which allows the seat to stay rigid and sportive but still collapse in its width.
Tuvie has received “USF – Ultra Small Footprint Vehicle” project from our ‘Submit A Design‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their design/concept for publication.