Launched in 2012, ‘Design Innovation’ is Hankook’s R&D project held every two years in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati. Through joint research, Hankook says the project puts forward a vision for the future of driving and develops solutions that tackle today’s challenges.
With the theme “Urban Reshaping,” professors and students from the Department of Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati focused on the transformation of cities by reconfiguring mobility as part of living spaces rather than a traditional stand-alone purpose. Hankook says as cities become more interconnected, the futuristic concepts feature augmented automation infrastructure, cutting-edge eco-friendly technology, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence (AI) to help create more sustainable mobility and cleaner and more efficient cities.
Throughout the project, the company says a modular platform concept named “Hankook Platform System (HPS)-Cell” was proposed with tires representing the root of mobility. It is applied with “Hankook Electric Mobility Technology (H.E.M.),” which the company says represents Hankook’s passion for future technological breakthroughs. This year’s project distinguishes mobility as a moving platform and its function as a pod (space).
Hankook says the tire of HPS-Cell embodies an airless tire’s double-layered unit-cell structure to acquire complex rigidity. It is a concept tire that uses sensor technology to not only identify tire treads and road conditions in real time, but also to respond to wear-out risks and change tread patterns according to the road condition, utilizing variable wheels and optimized infrastructure.
The scenario was brought into reality in a concept film, suggesting that in 2040, urban populations will be able to use this mobility platform combined with pods of various forms to meet a specific purpose, Hankook says. The modular platform can also be combined with commercial pods such as urban farming to maximize the scalability and efficiency of movement within smart cities of future generations.
As part of the company’s efforts, the Hankook says it is securing original technologies through utilization of its global R&D network as well as the Hankook Technodome. Hankook adds it 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 tires.