Autonomous cars chauffeur their passengers silently and precisely through the streets, X-shuttles bring commuters to their workplaces in the city center, driverless trucks line up for efficient goods transport on the by-pass roads. Where once parking lots and bus tracks shaped the image of the city center, people stroll over newly designed green spaces. Overgrown house facades and green roofs loosen up the dreary concrete landscapes.
Is this science fiction, a utopia? No, it is the image of a city of the future that could soon become reality thanks to technological innovations.
Visitors to the Autostadt in Wolfsburg no longer have to wait that long. You can already take a look at the city of tomorrow – in the special exhibition "Urban Mobility of the Future", which starts today (Wednesday, 13 June) and will be open until September 30th, 2018. A world where architecture and public spaces put people first and where offices, production facilities and shops promote efficient working. A world with a transport infrastructure that ensures comfortable and sustainable mobility with electrically powered, autonomous vehicles.
The mobility of the future on twelve square metres
The city of the future can be experienced in a three by four meter miniature city. On twelve square meters, manufactured on a scale of 1:87, the model outlines everyday life in a metropolis of tomorrow as urban and traffic planners as well as digital experts and engineers consider it realistic. The miniature city was built by specialists from the model building company MKB in Schenefeld near Hamburg, who have also created parts of the Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg.
Their latest model is also an architectural masterpiece that demonstrates with its love of detail how the quality of life in urban space can improve: through new mobility solutions such as the SEDRIC from Volkswagen, networked platooning trucks from MAN or the modular Pop.up Next for vertical mobility from Audi, Italdesign and Airbus. The buildings, areas, vehicles and more than 1,000 figures shown are almost without exception custom-made.
Among the special features realized for the first time in a model of this size are a total of 25 vehicles that maneuver through the various districts on roads with integrated magnetic strips rather than on rails as is usual. Centrally controlled and each equipped with its own sensors, they master crossing and turning scenarios, encounters with pedestrians, convoy trips and shuttle traffic. And all this as efficiently and accident-free as it could soon be possible in reality with fully automated vehicles. To refresh their batteries, the vehicles are steered into a hidden garage below the model.
SEDRIC for young night owls
In addition to the miniature city, the exhibition also features the youngest member of the SEDRIC model family. SEDRIC (SElf DRIving Car) is the cross-brand idea carrier for sustainable, safe, comfortable mobility available to everyone in the future. The SEDRIC Nightlife now has its first big European appearance in the Autostadt. Above all, it is a safe and atmospheric means of transport for young night owls who want to enjoy the party atmosphere on their way to the club of their choice.
The exhibit "Autonomous Driving and Sustainability" also explains the technologies and concepts that will ensure smooth, low-emission, comfortable and safe mobility in urban agglomerations in the future. Permanent networking, artificial intelligence, high-resolution navigation maps, cameras and sensors enable a self-driving system to precisely identify its environment, precisely assess different traffic situations and avoid accidents. Digital car-sharing and ride railing offers help to ensure that individual and demand-oriented mobility is available at all times, even without your own vehicle.