About HOST

The Host (Human Oriented Sustainable Transport) vehicle’s prototype is the result of a 3,2-million-euro project (funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Program) on which a Consortium, coordinated by CIRPS – Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca Per lo Sviluppo sostenibile, and composed by 9 European partners from 7 EU Countries, has been working since 2007. From 2016 the HOST prototype remained within CIRPS for further tests and various technological and application developments, by means of several European, national, and regional Italian programs (POLOIDROGENO Regione Lazio; TEPSI; UNIfHY; PlanGridEV; UNIPOWER), still continuing today. The newest entries are: 3eMOTION  (2015-2022);BLAZE  (2019-2022); GICO (2020-2024); TRUST (2020-2023).

HOST is a vehicle that never sleeps. It was designed to perform various services, as school bus, urban goods delivery, collective taxi, and garbage collection. A 24-hour service, without pause.

History and evolution

The idea started with a national project that proposed for the first time the idea of a “motorized platform” with electric motors integrated in the wheels and the possibility of maneuvering in rotation and translation.  From 2008 HOST was financed by the European Commission. The Project had 9 international partners coordinated by CIRPS.

The prototype was presented at the “Innovation Cube” area of the Bologna Motor Show, Which was fully covered by national media and press. 

Strategic objective: creation of a spin-off company

HOST has been exhibited as Italian technological excellence at the Museum of Science of the Future “Miraikan” in Tokyo. Now it must generate entrepreneurial activity in Italy, as a university spin-off.

First of all HOST is a new concept of sustainable mobility, conceived for the transport of people and goods.
It is based on the modularity and re-using concepts. Modularity of suspensions and chassis, so it can be converted from a city car into a van; modularity of the powertrain, different energy system modes consisting of a series hybrid (Diesel-electric) provided with a plug-in function, which enables the vehicle to be recharged using the electricity from the grid.
Alternatively, Host can house a hydrogen fuel cell and is equipped with a energy storage system easily adaptable to a wide range of powers. The result is a vehicle that increases transport opportunities and that, being able to work 24 hours a day, cuts down the costs deriving from its complexity.
Thanks to an electric motor per each wheel and to a drive-by-wire architecture, HOST hasn’t any mechanical link between the chassis and the bodywork. Thus, the vehicle’s cabin can be changed according to the service required by an innovative onboard horizontal transhipment system and can turn on itself and translate.

This new concept is ideal for urban mobility and offers great advantages for the transport logistics flows of goods and people, decreasing the number of vehicles circulating in towns.

Key features:

  • It has a single platform for a modular multi-purpose urban vehicle, which can be configured, in a very short time (minutes), as a collective taxi or car sharing vehicle, as a school bus, a light goods distributor or light waste collector;
  • Minimized dimensions allow mobility even in urban streets with a narrow track;
  • Maximum mobility thanks to the possibility of rotating the 4 (independent) wheels (the wheels each contain an independent electric motor, for traction and rotation, which reduces the overall dimensions of the vehicle significantly;
  • It can be a zero-emission vehicle with a completely “clean” operating cycle, in its configuration with “green” fuel cells and hydrogen;
  • “Full drive by wire solution” commands.

HOST prototype is going to be developed in its second generation version, looking at the industrial application.


Watch the video

→HOST – Styling Research Progress on the job

The prototype at H2 Roma Event

Back to the benning

Figure 1. Front view protoype

Figure 2. Back view protoype

Figure 3. Prototype, december

Figure 4. Prototype

Chassis construction, assembly and painting

Figure 5. Wood model construction of a chassis part

Figure 6. Construction of the shock absorber location

Figure 7. Wood models

Figure 8. Cast iron models

Figure 9. Construction of the chassis lateral part

Figure 10. Construction of the chassis lateral part

Figure 11. Steel chassis construction. Beating phase

Figure 12. Construction of the chassis lateral part

Figure 13. Weld of the chassis components_01

Figure 14. Weld of the chassis components

Figure 15. Weld of the chassis components

Figure 16. Chassis painting_01

Figure 17. Chassis painting

Figure 18. Chassis painting

Figure 19. Power components assembled

Figure 20. Power components assembled

Figure 21. Power components assembled

Figure 22. Power component assembled

Wheel corner assembly

Figure 23. The chassis and one mounted wheel corner_01

Figure 24. The chassis and one mounted wheel corner_02

Figure 25. The chassis and one mounted wheel corner_03

Figure 26. The chassis and one mounted wheel corner_04

Wheel motor construction, assembly and testing

Figure 27. Wheel motor construction

Figure 28. Construction of the home made socket of the motor inverter

Figure 29. Wheel motor assembly

Figure 30. Wheel motor testing

Figure 31. Test of the motor inverter

Figure 32. Wheel motor assembly

Figure 33. Assembled Wheel_01

Figure 34. Assembled Wheel_02

Figure 35. Wheel corner_01

Figure 36. Wheel corner_02

Figure 37. Wheel corner_03

Figure 38. Wheel corner_04

ICE generator assembly

Figure 39. ICE generator assembly

Figure 40. ICE generator assembly

Figure 41. ICE generator assembly

Figure 42. ICE generator assembly


Figure 43. Steering attuators

Figure 44. Motor and DBW control units_01

Figure 45. Motor and DBW control units_02

Figure 46. Motor and DBW control units_03

Figure 47. Motor and DBW control units_04

Figure 48. Electronic controls allocated

Figure 49. Cabin

Other components

Figure 50. ICE

Figure 51. Inverter cooling system

Figure 52. Generator and ICE cooling system

Figure 53. Fuel Tank over the ultracapacitor

Figure 54. Fuel Tank and the ultracapacitors

Figure 55. Ultracapaciros

Figure 56. Mechanical emergency brake

Figure 57. Plug in

Full vehicle

Figure 58. Steering, drive by wire_01

Figure 59. Steering, drive by wire_02

Figure 60. Full prototype

Figure 61. Back of the full prototype

First HOST events


Figure 62. Lisbon auto show

Figure 63. Lisbon auto show

Figure 64. HOST stand at H2roma workshop

Figure 65. HOST stand at H2roma workshop

Figure 66. HOST stand TRA, in Ljubljana

Figure 67. HOST stand TRA, in Ljubljana