Engineers Develop Vehicle That Can Change From A Bus To A Cargo Van

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 25 Sep 2020 17:47
Engineers Develop Vehicle That Can Change From A Bus To A Cargo VanEngineers Develop Vehicle That Can Change From A Bus To A Cargo VanGerman Aerospace Center

Engineers have created a vehicle that can change from a bus to a van in a bid to make a much less exciting version of Transformers. 

Okay, it’s not actually for a film – the German Aerospace Center (DLR), has created the vehicle so it can be used for different purposes and industries.


Named the U-Shift, the unique-looking vehicle has been described as ‘a concept vehicle with multiple applications, including cargo and human transport’. Its applications fit onto the main body of the vehicle like one large game of Tetris.

Check it out here: 

The U-Shift name comes after the U-shaped drive board it has – the part of the vehicle that the wheels are on and other applications are added on to. Think of it as a futuristic looking cab without the cargo bed at the back.


The project received just over $14 million from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing and was presented at the Interim Conference of the Strategic Dialogue for the Automotive Sector in Germany this month, reported USA News Site.

If you’re wondering where the heck someone would sit in the drive board itself, it turns out someone doesn’t need to be driving it as the U-Shift’s current prototype can be controlled by a remote.

German Aerospace Center

Where do people sit, I hear you ask? In the whatever capsule is attached to the drive board, such as its fancy looking bus capsule. The passenger capsule supposedly has eight seats in addition to a folding one. It also has ramp for increased accessibility.


Speaking of the new vehicle, DLR Executive Board Member for Energy and Transport Proffesor Karsten Lemmer, said:

With the modular concept of U-Shift, we are making a significant contribution to the transformation of mobility. Prototypes are extremely important, especially for the adoption of innovative concepts by the automotive industry or logistics and mobility service providers. In this way, researchers and future users can experience and improve the mobile world of tomorrow in real life.

German Aerospace Center

DLR’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut added, ‘We want to make tomorrow’s mobility more sustainable, more effective and more comfortable.’


A a second, fully automated version of the U-Shift is apparently in the works with the intention of it being ready for 2024. According to its website, it will be able to travel at 60 kilometres per hour (around 37 mph).

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Technology, Now


USA News Site and 1 other
  1. USA News Site

    Germany’s Aerospace Center Has Unveiled A Concept Modular Electric Vehicle That Can Change From A Bus To A Cargo Van

  2. German Aerospace Center

    Curtain up for the first prototype of the futuristic U-Shift vehicle concept