Flying car, car sharing, carpooling, 100% electric public transport… Urban mobility solutions are in the throes of redesigning western cities, eager for shared vehicles and less pollution. However, while innovative ideas abound, their implementation remains more restricted. To be able to impose a solution or product, it is therefore essential to be pragmatic.
This theme was the backdrop of a breakfast organised by Luxinnovation’s AutoMobility Cluster on 31 January, attended by more than 25 people from the Luxembourg automotive sector. The company Ujet, host of the event, opened the discussions by presenting its 100% electric scooter.
Three times lighter than its competitors, it has a range of 75 or 150 kilometres, depending on the version chosen, for a top speed of 45 km/h. In addition, there is an exclusively digital dashboard with a single screen allowing access to the GPS and a connection to a mobile phone, which also serves as a key for setting off.
We wanted design to be one of the central elements of this scooter.
Neverthless, it is above all, thanks to its design that Ujet intends to establish itself on the market. Its asymmetrical and unusual contour for a two-wheeled vehicle attracts attention and arouses curiosity. “We wanted design to be one of the central elements of this scooter, because beyond its innovative aspect, it must be attractive,” explained Albane Siramy, Global Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director at Ujet. “Our designers drew inspiration from urban architecture to best reflect the dynamism of cities,” she added.
Intervene as of the design stage
Design, industrial this time, is also a consideration in production facilities. Because innovation can also disrupt interaction between the driver and his vehicle. Whether it is scooters, but also, and above all, cars. “Like Ujet scooters, car manufacturers are trying to make their vehicles lighter to reduce fuel consumption, but a lighter door means lower quality for consumers, because when it comes to closing it, the feeling is less pleasant,” notes Lucas Cicero, EZ Metrology’s sales manager, who also presented his products at the AutoMobility Breakfast.
This American company, which is trying to break into the European market from Luxembourg, has developed a technology to measure the closing force of a door. Its system, which can be easily adapted to any car, allows a quick feedback of the data (force, pressure, and noise) related to this action. This information allows engineers to work from the design stage to provide the best possible feeling for future vehicle users.
Work on habits
However, the adoption of the Ujet scooter, like that of new innovative vehicles, will require a change in travel habits. Also present at the AutoMobility Breakfast, Antonio da Palma, from the Automobile Club of Luxembourg (ACL), presented Mobility manager training. “Companies are largely responsible for the traffic peaks that can be observed in the morning and evening. And they realise it,” he argues. “The idea is to encourage companies of a certain size – we think that as of 50 employees it can make sense – to appoint a person who will be responsible for mapping the departure point of employees and offering them adapted mobility solutions.” The ACL training was developed in collaboration with the University of Luxembourg and runs over three days. A first edition was proposed last year and the next one will take place in March.
“What is certain is that the automotive industry will have to reinvente itself quickly and develop new products supported by new skills, while controlling costs. This is the only way to combat fierce competition from abroad and from companies in other sectors, such as ICT,” concludes Anthony Auert, manager of the Luxinnovation AutoMobility Cluster.