Vehicles could be affordably produced for a wide variety of specialized purposes using a sophisticated wheel unit developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo.
The self-contained unit combines a wheel and an electric motor with braking, suspension, steering and a control system in a single module designed to be bolted to any vehicle frame.
It would free manufacturers from making huge investments to develop those components from scratch and enable the economical production of specialized vehicles in even small quantities.
“The idea is modularity and plug-and-play control capability,” said Amir Khajepour, a mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor at Waterloo. “Our wheel unit, in a sense, is a full vehicle with only one wheel. All that’s missing is a body.”
Automotive researchers first applied the concept to electric, two-seater urban cars, which promise to ease congestion and reduce pollution, but make up only a tiny fraction of sales because of high prices, space limitations and safety concerns.
Mass-produced wheel units would significantly reduce production costs while also creating space for passengers that would otherwise be devoted to mechanical components such as steering columns.
To improve the stability of the tall, narrow cars, researchers also designed and prototyped the units – which weigh about 40 kilograms and have about 25 horsepower – to enable active wheel cambering, or tilting.
“Companies will be able to produce a smaller car that is cheaper, too,” said Khajepour, director of the Mechatronic Vehicle Systems Lab. “Right now, we are not there. You have to pay more to get a smaller car, to get less.”
The next step in the research involves scaling up the wheel unit, technically called a corner module, for large utility and commercial vehicles.
That would pave the way for more cost-effective production of low-volume, specialized vehicles with customized bodies in fields including mining, forestry and rescue operations.
“It’s an economy of scale problem,” Khajepour said. “Corner modules would allow us, without enormous development costs, to make vehicles that are specific for each application, for each function, by concentrating only on the design of the body and the user interface.”
Learn more: New wheel units could bring vehicle costs down
The Latest on: Mass-produced wheel units
via Google News
The Latest on: Mass-produced wheel units
- Spy Video TRAKR: First Impressionson October 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Prior Spy Gear toys have been popular hack targets, providing inexpensive, mass-produced sources of unusual ... Wild Planet provided us a unit for testing, with their assurance that this is ...
- How the Ram truck that helped win the war brought the 4x4 to marketon September 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The then three-year-old 1972 ¾-ton Dodge Power Wagon with four-wheel drive and ... of the WC military units and named it a Power Wagon. It was the first mass produced 4x4 truck marketed to ...
- Toyoda Gosei to Launch Deep UV LED Water Purification Uniton September 24, 2020 at 10:21 pm
1 As the first mass-produced application, deep UV LED water purification units are used on water recirculating WOSH portable washstands, which will be sold by WOTA Corp. 2 from November 2020. This ...
- 2021 BMW M3 And M4 Gain Center Exhaust And Other M Performance Partson September 22, 2020 at 11:15 pm
The M TwinPower Turbo Technology and the high-revving concept featured by the power units impress with performance ... weighs around five kilograms less than the mass-produced component and ...
- Wide range of M Performance Parts already available at market launch of the all-new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupé.on September 22, 2020 at 5:08 pm
The M TwinPower Turbo Technology and the high-revving concept featured by the power units impress with performance characteristics ... weighs around five kilograms less than the mass-produced ...
- How You Can Profit from the Next Transistor Revolutionon September 14, 2020 at 10:09 pm
Their transistor wasn't the first, but it was the first that could be miniaturized and mass-produced practically ... may make 40% in profits on every unit sold. You could easily argue the ...
- The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?on September 8, 2020 at 3:57 pm
Image above: Workers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s biocontainment unit practicing procedural ... and penicillin became the first mass-produced antibiotic, U.S. Secretary of ...
- New 'Leader of the Pak:' Order Reservations Open for Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak Everon September 2, 2020 at 11:16 am
Dodge//SRT and Mopar are now taking reservations for the 50 limited-production, serialized, non-VIN units of the new 2021 ... the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world ...
- Small packages, big ideas: 80 years of compact Mazda carson August 10, 2020 at 8:26 am
With the company focused on manufacturing commercial vehicles following the war, Mazda’s first mass-produced passenger ... sturdy monocoque body and four-wheel independent suspension made ...
- FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: Drivetrain layouts and what they meanon April 16, 2020 at 8:58 am
That’s because front-wheel drive vehicles require fewer parts since the entire drivetrain is typically packaged as one unit that sits at the front of the vehicle. There’s no such thing as a ...
via Bing News