Protean Electric have designed a new concept mobility pod incorporating a wheel, steering, and electric motor which allow the wheel to turn through 360 degrees, making cars much more manoeuvrable. Being able to move in any direction makes it possible to park or turn in tighter spaces.
The makers also claim that its in-wheel motors are more efficient because of fewer losses in the driveline and that they improve performance with rapid torque delivery and a 7% reduction in stopping distances, as well as improved ABS performance and stability.
The modules, designed to be compact, use a multi-link suspension design with a ‘spider’ movement. With this, the suspension operates similarly no matter which way the vehicle is travelling – leaving the vehicle’s body free to carry passengers or luggage. Shaped like small buses, Protean says the modules make vehicles more manoeuvrable in urban traffic or when navigating obstacles.
They are also fitted with a pneumatic ride height adjustment system that allows them to lower, similar to the systems used on buses to make access easier. However, Protean’s design offers stepless kerb-to-vehicle access, improving accessibility for those with restricted mobility or wheelchair users.
Protean’s CEO, KY Chan, says,
“Transport-as-a-service urban mobility is gaining momentum, and with it the need for a new class of urban transport vehicles. Whether shared or private, for passengers or goods deliveries, human-driven or autonomous, these new vehicles will require new technologies to be fit for purpose. The Protean360+ corner module was borne from our team’s innovative thinking about how to meet the requirements for these next-generation urban vehicles.”
Combining production-ready, cutting-edge technology, the Protean 360+ corner module certainly appears to offer unrivalled capabilities that significantly advance the effectiveness of the urban transport vehicle concept.