Hyundai’s affiliate technology supplier, Hyundai Mobis, has shown its e-Corner modular steering and propulsion system for EVs in real-world testing, and it’s just released a bit more about what the system will allow dynamically.
Put simply, it could dramatically change the maneuverability of electrified urban vehicles, driven or not.
The company already gained attention earlier this year with the system showcased on an Ioniq 5. With steering, braking, and propulsion consolidated into modular units that can be installed at all four corners of a vehicle, it potentially allows a new type of skateboard platform with even more packaging freedom, as the system will rotate all four wheels up to 90 degrees individually or separately.
Now the company is testing the tech on public roads adjacent to its South Korean proving ground, on the way to mass production of the system as soon as 2025. And a series of example scenarios underscore that this is far beyond the relative gimmickry of CrabWalk in the GMC Hummer EV.
Following on previous demonstrations from the company, it now shows the e-Corner system moving laterally. This is a true side-to-side movement of the vehicle, with all four wheels turned 90 degrees. Also shown was what the company called a “zero turn,” pivoting the front and rear wheels in opposite directions to rotate the vehicle in a very small space.
In something called “diagonal driving,” it pivots all four wheels in the same direction at 45 degrees. There’s also a “pivot turn,” allowing the driver to choose any point as the center while positioning the wheels to guide the vehicle in a circle around that point.
With this release of greater detail, Hyundai Mobis lays out the role of an in-wheel motor with the system. That’s something the company hadn’t mentioned or clarified previously. And in another view, the company shows the integration of brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire systems, with an angled damper strut serving as some or all of the vehicle suspension.
Hyundai Mobis first revealed e-Corner in 2021, then it translated the idea to an Ioniq 5 in a closed circuit this January. It says this is a key mobility technology for electrification and autonomous driving, and suggests that such tech has never been mass-produced anywhere in the world.
It’s a concept that’s similar to what is being employed by Israel’s REE, which has shown several versions of a skateboard platform with modular units at all four wheels. So far it’s pitching that system for use in commercial vehicles.
Mobis says that the convergence of steering and braking components with connectivity and electrification, in-house, will give it an advantage. And from the looks of it, this system does well in showcasing that. Now which upcoming Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis EV might get it first?
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