CORDIS - EU research results

Lifecycle-reconfigurable Smart Mobility Platform to enable autonomous and cost-effective personalized solutions for social inclusion of disabled and elderly while leveraging AM technologies

Project description

Rolling out a fully personalised wheelchair

Not being able to access public spaces in urban areas because of mobility limitations is a harsh reality for millions of elderly and disabled citizens. The EU-funded FreeWheel project aims to change this by introducing a new innovative urban mobility solution called FreeWheel that promotes social inclusion through affordable and customisable mobility services. This solution integrates an autonomous ‘smart active’ module, multiple custom interfaces, and an app, allowing elderly and disabled people to access public spaces in urban areas safely and easily. Specifically, FreeWheel’s modular concept is based on standard reconfigurable, low cost modules, and ultra customised interfaces produced via additive manufacturing. Not only does this solution reduce manufacturing lead times and investment costs, but it also results in an ultra-low environmental impact.


FreeWheel promotes social inclusion of disabled and elderly people through a urban mobility solution consisting of a unit integrating an autonomous “smart active” module, multiple custom interfaces and an app. Such a solution can be either rented (a sharing service available at in-door and out-door urban facilities), or sold; in the latter case the unit includes a fully personalized wheelchair.

FreeWheel satisfies the need for customization, both on the user and on the vehicle side, through the implementation of a modular concept based on standard reconfigurable, low-cost modules (e.g. engine, gears, control unit, HMI, etc.) and on ultra-customized interfaces (e.g. body-to-vehicle, engine-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, etc.), produced via additive manufacturing. Re-configurability is achieved through an easy exchange of standard modules in different products.

A further objective is making affordable the lifecycle cost of the above-mentioned mobility service (and/or product) through an innovative business model that offers mobility as a service (independent of vehicle ownership) and by leveraging dematerialization (reduction of manufacturing lead times and investment costs) and product re-configurability.

The expected impact is:
- Social inclusion of elderly and disabled citizens: the project will demonstrate affordability and safety in accessing public spaces in urban areas;
- Short time-to-market: 70% less than the conventional approach.
- Significant cost reduction in the manufacturing of a personalised wheelchair unit as a result of the re-usability and adaptability of personalised products components;
- Ultra-low environmental impact: re-usability of modules and efficient manufacturing leading to more than 70% in environmental impact reduction regarding primary resources consumed while offering this mobility service.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 585 156,25
10135 Torino

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 835 937,50

Participants (11)