Hyundai and design students create the mobility of the future

  • In a design competition organised by Hyundai, 30 students developed mobility concepts for Generation Z
  • The competition was supervised by Thomas Bürkle, Head of Hyundai Europe Design Center
  • The four prize winners presented their future models to Hyundai executives

- Hyundai Motor has teamed up with a group of design students to create the mobility of the future.

During the course of a competition, 30 budding designers from the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) revealed their visions for Generation Z under the title “An individual mobility experience aimed at Generation Z for the Hyundai brand”.

Generation Z is defined as those born between the years 1997 and 2012. The competition was overseen by a multi-disciplinary team of designers and supervised by Thomas Bürkle, Head of Hyundai Europe Design Center, and Prof. Dr. Othmar Wickenheiser, Professor of Transportation Design at MUAS. Young people’s expectations of individual and public mobility in the future were at the centre of the design considerations.

Inspired by a kick-off event beginning of 2020 at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center in Rüsselheim, Germany, each participant gradually defined their vision for the future of the Hyundai brand. The four participants selected as winners then presented their models to Hyundai executives in the design center in Rüsselheim, Germany, demonstrating how their ideas build a bridge from the present to a future of mobility without restrictions.

Modular mobility study offers current approaches

One entrant, Paul Anker, presented a modular mobility study called “Coup-e”, which charts the way Hyundai envisions public transportation. While the drive system is designed to be autonomous and emissions-free, the passenger can determine and design the passenger compartment according to their own demands. This allows them to decide if they would prefer to travel with company or if they would prefer to have their own private space.

The flexible seat modules, which are quickly exchangeable, are designed to meet people’s needs and take on a modern approach, especially under the distance and hygiene rules currently in force due to the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on the number of passengers, the front and rear seated drive modules can be individually lengthened or shortened, while the distance to other passengers can also be regulated.

Autonomous passenger drones adapt to an individual’s personality profile

In another future concept, “Kibun” – which takes its name from a Korean word which refers to individual character traits – an autonomous hydrogen-powered passenger drone not only offers individuals space in increasingly crowded big cities, but also adapts to the individual’s personal profile. The interior space can be adapted to offer occupants a new level of customised user experience.

At the same time, the concept, which was presented by design student Sümeyra Yalcin, underscores the fact that, to Generation Z, the pure travelling experience will be more important than ownership. Therefore, this drone will be available on a subscription basis rather than being made available for purchase, and adapts to each subscriber individually.

“Cyber Race” satisfies longings for speed

However, the students did not just highlight the mobile needs of the future. The “Cyber Race” project envisioned by Youngdo Kim crosses the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds in a virtual reality race. The racer uses magnetic levitation and wireless charging to move an electric small scale racing vehicle around a physical race track, steered remotely through VR technology. “Cyber Race” therefore also satisfies cravings for speed, at least in a fun way.

With the “Urban Flower” project, the competition’s fourth winner, Etienne Sabarth, presented heisvision to make future mobility solutions more social. Based on the gesture of handing someone a flower, the Hyundai Urban Flower is a sculpture that moves in urban spaces to serve as a meeting place or retreat. At the same time, the Urban Flower takes on an active role in which it can act on people’s moods with empathy and therefore come to the aid of someone who is stressed or troubled. This project in particular focused on people, who according to Hyundai’s company philosophy also form the starting point for the mobility of the future, and are becoming more and more important to society.