Autonomous vehicle can move like a crab

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

Schaeffler has developed a compact wheel module that combines the drive and chassis components of its ‘Schaeffler Mover’, an autonomous urban mobility concept vehicle that is said to be Schaeffler’s answer to the challenge of meeting the mobility requirements of people in rapidly growing metropolitan areas.

The drive and chassis components are combined in a compact unit, the ‘Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module’. This module is installed in all four wheels and includes the wheel hub motor, wheel suspension, and the actuator for the electromechanical steering system.

The wheel suspension is designed to enable a steering angle of up to 90 degrees, allowing the vehicle to be manoeuvred in narrow alleys and to be parked in short parking spaces. A turning radius of less than five metres means the vehicle would be extremely manoeuvrable in city traffic and could even turn on the spot.

Each of the four permanently-excited synchronous electric motors – with 300V operating voltage – supplies a continuous output of 13kW and a temporary peak output of 25kW. The nominal torque of 250Nm per motor can be doubled for short periods.

The Schaeffler Mover’s design is modular, allowing the flexible implementation of different bodies ranging from a robo-taxi to an autonomous delivery vehicle.

A feasibility study will be developed by Schaeffler in the coming months, and there are plans to produce a roadworthy prototype by the end of the year.


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