Next-generation urban transport vehicles will be tasked with smoothly and efficiently moving people and goods around busy cities, and a new 360-degree steering unit could help optimise the design and maneuverability of these urban pods.
The Protean360+ is a ‘corner module’ that features a limitless 360-degree steering capability, and combines this with an innovative suspension set-up, pneumatic ride-height control and a highly efficient and powerful in-wheel electric motor. The module’s compact size will allow an urban pod to have an entirely flat interior floor and offer easy access via front, rear and side doors.
The exceptional maneuverability enabled by the 360-degree steering system allows the vehicle to spin within its own footprint, helping it to negotiate extremely tight urban streets and park in tight spaces with kerb-side precision. Once stationary, its ride-height control enables the pod to ‘kneel’, dropping the vehicle entry-point to kerb level for easy loading of heavy or cumbersome loads and stepless access for passengers with impaired mobility.
“Transport-as-a-Service urban mobility is gaining momentum, and with it the need for a new class of urban transport vehicles,” explains KY Chan, CEO of Protean Electric. “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.”