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Hankook reveals futuristic tyre and mobility vision

Hankook has revealed a futuristic mobility concept with its ‘Design Innovation 2020’ project, presenting a two-wheeled mobility device called HPS-Cell.

This serves as an autonomous driving platform, which can be connected to various passenger cabins or cargo spaces, called pods. To bring the scenario to life, concept films and prototypes have been produced and are available to view on the official Hankook Tire YouTube page.

Launched in 2012, the Design Innovation program is the tyre maker’s R&D project which is organised in collaboration with one of world’s leading design universities every two years. The joint research project puts forward futuristic concepts for driving and mobility solutions that tackle today’s challenges.

Under the theme ‘Urban Reshaping’, professors and students from the Department of Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati in the US focused on the transformation of cities and the reconfiguration of mobility that goes along with this development.

Rather than presenting mobility as serving a stand-alone purpose, the students developed a scenario that visualised mobility to be a part of living spaces with augmented automation infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies, such as eco-friendly technology, autonomous driving, and Artificial Intelligence.

Hankook designers and engineers then developed the concepts further to make them both more visionary.

At the heart of the vision is the tyre maker’s two-wheeled, modular mobility device, the Hankook Platform System (HPS)-Cell. Serving as an autonomous and two-wheeled platform, the HPS-Cell is an electronic vehicle using Hankook Electric Mobility Technology (H.E.M.).

The platform can function for different purposes depending on the various passenger cabins or cargo spaces, called pods, attached on top of it. Separating the mobility platform from its function by using these attachable pods, the futuristic HPS-Cell demonstrates that it is the tyre that is the centre of mobility.

The HPS-Cell runs on an airless tyre and uses sensor technology that identifies tyre treads and road conditions in real-time, as well as responding to wear-out risks and changes tread patterns according to the road condition, using variable wheels and optimised infrastructure.

To bring the conceptual tyre and HPS-Cell platform to life, a concept film and a prototype were produced, illustrating how an urban population in 2040 may use this kind of mobility platform.

During the video, the platforms are combined with various pods of different forms to meet specific purposes, such as for a single commuter trip, for urban farming or a family trip. The exchangeable pods on top of the single mobility platform HPS-Cell maximise the scalability and efficiency of movement within smart cities of future generations. The video will be shared on various global channels to demonstrate Hankook’s capabilities in design innovation globally.

Jimmy Kwon, vice president of Hankook Tire Brand Lab, said: “Hankook Tire is incorporating new ideas with our cutting-edge technology to explore design concepts for the next generation, as Hankook believes creativity is the first step towards bringing the imagination into the reality. We are more than excited to present this year’s works as they speak for the essence of the future mobility that Hankook envisions.”