Disruptive Modular Architecture for Agile, Automated Vehicle Concepts

UNICARagil unites the competences of leading German universities in the field of automated driving and selected industrial partners, to rethink future mobility and vehicles with their development processes. Within the scope of the five-year project, the consortium led by Prof. Eckstein has developed disruptive, modular, agile and automated vehicle concepts. The development avoids inherited liabilities in order to provide solutions for challenges imposed by emerging mobility trends and to set impulses for the future. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany funded the project with an overall budget of 32 million Euros.

A total of eight universities joined forces with eight industrial partners to develop fully automated and driverless electric vehicles based on the latest results of research into automated and connected driving as well as electromobility. The basis for this is a modular and scalable vehicle concept consisting of a utility and drive unit. It can be flexibly adapted to a wide range of applications in logistics and passenger transport. Automated and locally emission-free vehicles can meaningfully exploit these in particular. Core elements of the research and development work were the novel architectures both in hardware and in software.


In addition to overall project management, ika was responsible for the conceptual design of the modular driving platform and the construction of the autoSHUTTLE, one of the four vehicles. The autoSHUTTLE offers space for up to eight people and is part of a new, improved public transport system. Optimally adapted to the needs of users at all times, it represents the public transport of the future.

The ika also was responsible for the design of the dynamic modules, which combine the tasks of steering, suspension, driving and braking through the integration of modern wheel hub drives. The modules enable movement behavior in road traffic through steering angles of up to 90°. The control units required to control the modules are developed and validated as dedicated hardware.

Future vehicles will be supported by intelligent infrastructure and cloud systems. UNICARagil focused on concepts in this research area as well. At ika, a cloud-based environment model for improved perception of automated vehicles and a novel collective traffic memory were thereforedesigned and implemented.

With more than 100 project members throughout Germany, the project combines the fields of mechanical engineering and vehicle technology with electrical engineering, computer science, logistics, ergonomics, psychology and vehicle design.

Images of all vehicles

<?php defined('_JEXEC') or die;require_once JPATH_SITE."/sourcerer/functions.php";echo gallery("/images/presse/mitteilungen/2023/23pr0003_unicaragil/autoFamilie/","UNICARagil","Fotos aller Fahrzeuge"); ?>

Images autoCARGO

<?php defined('_JEXEC') or die;echo gallery("/images/presse/mitteilungen/2023/23pr0003_unicaragil/autoCARGO/","UNICARagil","Images of autoCARGO"); ?>

Images autoELF

<?php defined('_JEXEC') or die;echo gallery("/images/presse/mitteilungen/2023/23pr0003_unicaragil/autoELF/","UNICARagil","Images of autoELF"); ?>

Images autoSHUTTLE

<?php defined('_JEXEC') or die;echo gallery("/images/presse/mitteilungen/2023/23pr0003_unicaragil/autoSHUTTLE/","UNICARagil","Images of autoSHUTTLE"); ?>

Images autoTAXI

<?php defined('_JEXEC') or die;echo gallery("/images/presse/mitteilungen/2023/23pr0003_unicaragil/autoTAXI/","UNICARagil","Images of autoTAXI"); ?>



Timo Woopen M.Sc.
Manager Research Area
Vehicle Intelligence & Automated Driving
+49 241 80 23549

Project duration

02/2018 – 05/2023

Project partner

RWTH Aachen, TU Braunschweig, TU Darmstadt, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, TU München, Universität Stuttgart, Universität Ulm, Atlatec GmbH, flyXdrive GmbH, iMAR Navigation GmbH, IPG Automotive GmbH, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Vires Simulationstechnologie GmbH, Universität Passau, Valeo Schalter und Sensoren GmbH, Maxion Wheels Holding GmbH

Project website


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Press releases

11. May 2023 : Fully automated and driverless – UNICARagil shows how driverless vehicle can drive safely in mixed traffic

27. April 2021 : UNICARagil – Rollout des ersten Prototypen

13. Juli 2020: UNICARagil – Neue Architekturen für die Mobilität der Zukunft

01. Februar 2019: Studie zu Mobilitätskonzepten der Zukunft: Was erwartet die Bevölkerung von autonomen Fahrzeugen?

08. März 2018: UNICARagil – Kooperationsprojekt zur Mobilität der Zukunft: Hochschulen und Industrie bringen automatisierte Elektrofahrzeuge auf die Straße

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Institute for Automotive Engineering
RWTH Aachen University
Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany

+49 241 80 25600

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