Design of a multi-functional vehicle which supports passenger and cargo transport

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Online shops are responsible for a significant increase in the total volume of parcels which have to be transported. Due to the increase in volume there are more vehicles required to meet this enormous demand. This has a negative impact on the traffic flow on the infrastructure. A possible solution can be found in ride-sharing, as sharing resources paves the way to more sustainable designs. Public transport often operates with occupancy rates below the maximum, and a way to optimize it to combine it with parcel transport. A multi-functional vehicle which combines public and cargo transport in variable ratios could lower the impact of parcel vehicles on the traffic flow. The designing steps for a multi-functional vehicle are presented which lead to a more detailed case design. This case zooms in on small public transport vehicles which are often active between small towns. The multi-functional case design consists of an innovative solution based on reconfigurable chairs which enables a more efficient use of vehicle space. Multiple options to implement the multi-functional vehicles in the transport system are also discussed.