Vehicle concept combines wheel hub drive with 90-degree steering

April 12, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Vehicle concept combines wheel hub drive with 90-degree steering
Automotive supplier Schaeffler presented an electric vehicle concept for autonomous operation in urban environments. A special feature is an "Intelligent Corner Module" with integrated wheel hub drive, which enables very high maneuverability.

The technology platform of the "Schaeffler Mover" is designed in such a way that various vehicle bodies can be flexibly implemented, from robo-taxi to autonomous delivery vehicles. With this concept, Schaeffler is responding to the challenge of securing people's mobility requirements in fast-growing metropolises.

By 2050, two-thirds of the population is expected to live in cities. As habitats become more dense, the way people move around the city and are supplied with goods for their daily needs is changing. Autonomous and electrified vehicles play an important role, especially in the new Robo-Taxis and People and Goods Mover models, which supplement or possibly even replace local public transport in cities. Schaeffler provides the technical basis for such an urban mobility concept: The "Schaeffler Mover" with wheel hub drive and 90-degree steering offers a platform for a wide variety of vehicle concepts such as these Robo-Taxis or autonomous transport vehicles.

The drive and chassis components in the "Schaeffler Mover" are combined in a compact unit, the "Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module", to save space. This module, which is installed in all four wheels, comprises the wheel hub motor, wheel suspension and the actuator for electromechanical steering. The steering of the wheel module is designed as an electromechanical steer-by-wire system. The selected shape of the wheel suspension allows a wheel angle of up to 90 degrees. The vehicle can be maneuvered in narrow aisles and merged into short parking spaces. The turning circle of less than five meters makes the vehicle extremely mobile in city traffic. Turning on the spot is also possible.

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