THE PIVOTING AXLE TECHNOLOGY IS THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT SOLUTION EVER CREATED FOR MOTORIZED LAND TRANSPORTATION.
It will play a sizeable part in accelerating the introduction of electrified land transportation to our cities. By discarding an important proportion of running gears from the chassis and thus simplifying the vehicle platform, the pivoting axle architecture allows the benefit of greatly reducing the costs associated to design, fabrication, assembly, operation and maintenance of future land vehicles. This will translate directly into increased ROI for fleet operators and higher margins for OEMs.
In fact, the greatest revolution offered by the pivoting axle concept is the paradigm change it will bring to future developments of vehicle platforms forever changing product configuration from a hardware centric philosophy to an almost complete software centric approach.
From a common platform, an array of model options will simply be configured by the uploading of model specific codes; no more relying on expensive components selection on final assembly line. One platform, endless possibilities!
None of these needed
No more relying on expensive components selection at final assembly line. One platform, endless possibilities! Not only is there huge savings in energy consumption by the simple reduction of required components and their associated design, fabrication, assembly and storage logistics, the assembly plants are consequently greatly simplified and thus can be reduced in size and complexity. Furthermore, for autonomous usage, by removing direct human interactions from their operation will imply assigning an actuator for each of their systems.
Each of these actuators will necessitate their own envelope as well as their own energy source. An autonomous vehicle will thus increase in complexity and be less efficient than initially envisioned since it will have to tap into its limited onboard energy provision to power its arrays of actuators. The Pivoting axle technology, on the other hand, removes all requirements for additional actuators and thus maximizes the onboard energy savings. You therefore drive farther!
What exactly is the Pivoting axle concept?
Simply said: the reunion of the skateboard architecture with the extraordinary capabilities brought by modern intelligent control systems.
Skateboards are ingenious mobility devices that are the epitome of simplicity. Skateboards employ two pivoting axles mounted under a flat board which enable the vehicle to be steered simply by tilting the board around its roll axis thus forcing the pivot of both axles in opposite directions.
This mode of operation can only be accomplished by the shifting of a mass resting above the board from side to side; obviously, this mass being the human body in most cases.
What if we were to apply the simplicity of the skateboard running gear
architecture to the automobiles & trucks we all know and use every day.
Obviously, it would be impractical in most cases to shift a mass above the vehicle’s roll axis in order to induce a turn. If instead we were to reverse the logic of the skateboard operation by forcing this time the pivot of the axles by applying differential speed control at each wheel.
We would then be able to steer the vehicle without any usage of steering apparatus. The Pivoting axle technology we have developed and patented is allowing us to do just that... and more.
The technology we have developed replaces entirely the common steering gear assembly and its associated components by equipping each end of the vehicle with a freely pivoting beam. These beams are each equipped with their own electric motors driving each of their two wheels. Both steering beams pivot relative to the structural frame of the vehicle about opposite inclined pivot axis, same as founded on a conventional skateboard.
Each wheel powered by its own electric motor and connected to a central controller is now capable of pivoting its parent beam by precise minute increments. The combination of these features now allows the vehicle to turn in both directions while following a large array of radiuses without necessitating any additional dedicated steering apparatus.
When the pivot axis is positively angled relative to the vertical, rather than being fully vertical, the sprung mass will then roll inside the turn as opposed to what is normally experienced on conventional road vehicles. This behaviour reduces the effect of body roll induced weight transfer during transient response and thus increase the complete wheel-train capacity to generate side adhesion. We therefore get better road handling! The vehicle body, by rolling so, also increases occupants comfort by counteracting the effect of centrifugal acceleration on their own body.
It will further be appreciated that by providing individual motors, each one associated to one of the controlled wheels, and by allowing the motors to be controlled individually by the central controller, the pivoting axle technology can also be used to replace other subsystems of the vehicle.
We get better ride! As a bonus for BIW engineers, because all the wheel-train joints to the sprung mass are packaged along the vehicle median longitudinal plane, we see a sizeable improvement in reacted polar moments of inertia on the vehicle’s chassis. This feature allows the potential reduction of overall weight since the vehicle’s structural frame does not see high torsional stresses anymore. Less weight brings more $avings!
For example, a vehicle architecture built around the pivoting axle technology may not need a separate braking subsystem. In addition, the controller can be configured to « micro-modulate » the rotation speed of each wheel to thereby eliminate entirely the need for a shock absorbing subsystem.
Do the math...
The pivoting axle technology therefore defines a method for powering, braking, steering and dampening the ride of a vehicle; all without any of the conventional running gears normally found on traditional architecture land vehicles.
You end up solely with a platform comprising a structural frame usually built around an energy enclosure (a battery case most likely), two pivoting axles assembly, each including their own electric motors, a central controller... and... that’s about it! Now, compare this to any traditional vehicle platform and do the math!
The Pivoting Axle technology can be applied to land vehicles of all kinds. From automobiles of all sizes to light commercial vehicles (last mile delivery) to large freight trailers. The technology can be used in both manned and autonomous configurations.
Because we find in most configurations of this concept a longitudinal symmetric beam configuration, It allows driving from either direction by removing fore and aft reasoning. On large autonomous commercial freight transport, it could as well open up the possibility to discard the tractor altogether.