EV Maker Rivian Data files Patent for ‘K-Turn’ to Enable Tighter Moves

  • Rivian has designed a massive deal out of the “tank switch” ability of its electric motor vehicles. The 4 motors, one particular powering each individual wheel, can essentially spin the EV about in place by spinning the wheels on either aspect of the auto in opposite directions.
  • But on smooth surfaces, a tank flip brings with it the likelihood to get caught, so the corporation is also hoping to patent a “K-flip.”
  • Making use of the same capability to handle just about every wheel separately, the K-switch will keep just one of the within rear wheels and enable the automobile to pivot all around it, dramatically minimizing its turning radius.

    For a specified subset of Star Wars nerds, a K-flip (aka a Koiogran turn) is a challenging way to escape a pursuing craft during a dogfight. But in the automobile environment, “K-transform” could before long be related with Rivian, which filed a newly posted patent software outlining a method for the company’s electric cars to supply drivers a much tighter transform radius than other autos offer.

    Irrespective of whether or not this K-change will make an visual appeal on Rivian’s forthcoming R1T and R1S EVs is not instantly specified in the patent software, but Rivian has by now promoted a different abnormal turning system for these vehicles. Identified as the “tank turn,” this tech uses the EV’s 4 motors (just one connected to every single wheel) to rotate the wheels on both aspect of the EV in reverse directions, type of like shifting the treads on a tank against just about every other, to basically spin the automobile in area. It really is a neat bash trick, but it won’t be able to be applied in all places. As Rivian notes in its patent application: “This sort of a [tank] transform when utilized on tender surfaces can trigger the wheels to dig into the floor and sink fairly than turning the automobile.”

    Rivian’s K-turn builds off the tank convert, deploying its different propulsion supply at each individual of the four wheels in a somewhat distinct way. Instead of placing the middle of the turning circle at the midpoint in between all four wheels, a K-turn would alternatively take place only when you can find substantial steering angle. Ahead torque is applied to those people angled front wheels, even though the interior again wheel is much more or less held in location. This wheel then types a pivot issue for the car to change still left or suitable. Imagine of it like an previous-fashioned pencil compass, in which the steel point signifies the stationary rear wheel and the pencil side is the front of the auto. The finish consequence? “K-convert method [allows] the motor vehicle to reach a substantially reduced turn radius (e.g., the car may perhaps pivot about a level underneath the chassis of the automobile),” according to the patent application. This is equivalent to the Ford Bronco’s path-turn assist, where, at very low speeds, it locks the inside of rear wheel to pivot about it, shortening the turning radius by as a lot as 40 per cent.

    U.S. Patent and Trademark Business office

    Other components of the patent filing converse about a little bit distinct modes wherever the rear wheels would instead be spinning in reverse somewhat than the inside of rear wheel held in put. Rivian will make it audio like essentially making 1 of its autos perform a K-transform will be a fairly basic system. The patent application mentions that “processing circuitry” could have interaction K-change mode if the steering wheel is inquiring for the wheels to rotate further than the standard flip threshold.

    Just mainly because an automaker documents a patent does not assure that the technological innovation will ever make it to a manufacturing automobile, but this is a single that we be expecting to see on foreseeable future Rivian versions. It takes advantage of the identical elements as the tank transform, some thing Rivian has been delighted to endorse, and it provides a benefit in some predicaments where by a tank flip would result in difficulties.

    Rivian submitted the patent application on December 31, 2019.

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