Titled UNIMO, a portmanteau of United Mobility, this EV aims at replacing every vehicle currently used for public/personal transport and logistics. It looks and behaves nothing like anything you’ve ever seen. The UNIMO is modular, self-driving, has a panoramic transparent canopy, and docks/charges electric scooters on its front. Sounds like a lot? Well, that’s because UNIMO aims at being a comprehensive logistical service that can transport humans (and even cargo) anywhere there are roads… and by doing so, becoming the nervous system of the entire city.
Designer: Timo Weißbach
For designer Timo Weißbach, UNIMO was created to solve a much more unique problem. Weißbach saw e-scooters as a necessity but a nuisance plaguing cities. You see, unless people own the e-scooters, chances are that managing them is a headache. Publicly available scooter-on-rent programs are problematic because mass-charging scooters is difficult. Not to mention the fact that people often treat the scooters like trash, driving them rashly, abandoning them at random places when the ride ends, and even vandalizing them. For Weißbach, UNIMO started as a way to effectively manage e-scooters. It gradually blossomed into a more comprehensive travel system.
So what’s UNIMO? Well, it’s essentially a bus-like service that can expand or contract based on demand and footfall. To reach your nearest UNIMO, you need to use an e-scooter that’s essentially designed to be your last-mile vehicle. Once you drive from point A to the UNIMO’s pickup point, the e-scooter docks right into the UNIMO’s front or back, and the large EV collects and charges all the e-scooters together while in transit. Reached your stop? Plug out an e-scooter and drive it to your destination. For the most part, UNIMO collects and charges the E-scooters, while taking care of transporting the passengers so they don’t drive the scooters over longer distances, resulting in wear and tear.
The UNIMO has a pretty nifty design itself. It comes with a front and an end, with carriages fitting in between like the ones you’d see on a train. These carriages come with panoramic glass canopies that are open on one side for boarding and deboarding, and seats on the inside feel as familiar as the ones on a bus.
The EV runs on an electric platform, allowing the UNIMO to have that transparent canopy that provides that stellar view of the city. However, ditch the canopy and add a couple of protective netting panels and the UNIMO becomes a self-driving freight container, traversing autonomously around warehouses and shipyards. Pretty cool, isn’t it??