|Korean tyre maker Hankook revealed the “Design Innovation 2020” project on its official YouTube Channel that envisions a futuristic tyre platform as a future driving and mobility innovation. 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 U.S. 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.”
As a top-tier global company, Hankook continues to be proactive in responding to the fast-changing world of future mobility and strengthening its leading role in making technological progress. The company is continually securing original technologies by using its global R&D network and the high-tech research facility Hankook Technodome, which plays a key role as the central hub. Hankook is also carrying out future-oriented projects such as the ‘The Next Driving Lab’ campaign, which provides new and innovative future driving experiences that have never been encountered before through its futuristic tyres.