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.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologymaterials engineeringfibers
- engineering and technologymechanical engineeringmanufacturing engineeringadditive manufacturing
- social sciencessocial and economic geographytransportpublic transport
- social sciencesother social sciencessocial sciences interdisciplinarysustainable development
- engineering and technologymaterials engineeringcompositescarbon fiber
- social sciencessociologysocial issues
- social sciencessociologygovernancepublic services
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeIA - Innovation action