L’AFFRANCHIE embodies an alternative vision of the automobile. An exemplar of a collaborative design and user-centred approach, l’Affranchie is built on an open-source chassis developed by the OSVehicle corporation. This means that it includes only the bare essentials. Users and companies are then free to customise the vehicle. Invented by the Italian mechanical engineer, Ampelio Macchi, the chassis is powered by an electric or hybrid engine and is the first open-source vehicle frame available. The chassis can be serially produced and shipped in as a kit to be assembled locally in less than an hour, so each l’Affranchie can be manufactured on demand within a short lead-time. Its mechanically welded steel frame is made to withstand impacts and its polyethylene floor pan is easy to produce with relatively inexpensive tooling. L’Affranchie aims to shift the current mass production paradigm towards a flexible manufacturing process, making use of local companies and their technical know-how. In order to reduce its energy consumption, l’Affranchie is manufactured with innovative materials so that it weighs less than 750kg. Because the stainless steel frame has ensured its rigidity, the bodywork need not be reinforced and can be made from a technical lightweight and affordable fabric commonly used in architecture. L’Affranchie is connected to the internet through a hardware architecture built around a low energy consumption ARM processor. This open approach enables a large community of developers to contribute and extend the uses of this car. This vehicle can become a data hub in real time, receiving and transmitting data. With the incorporation of sensors, l’Affranchie will also be a part of the a smart city system.

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