Hyundai Mobis, an automotive supplier belonging to the Hyundai Motor Group, has unveiled an ‘e-corner’ module that integrates the steering, braking, suspension and electric drive systems in one wheel. It will serve as the basic technology for a future platform, which is expected to be released in 2023.
Hyundai Mobis says it will accept series orders from carmakers worldwide once reliability testing and a feasibility study for series production are completed. The South Korean company does not yet mention technical data on the e-corner module. A press release merely states that the technology allows for 90-degree wheel rotation and the simple conception of different wheelbases. The former allows both turning on the spot and moving sideways.
“The e-corner module is an advanced technology that not many have had much success with regarding its mass production at a global level,” Hyundai Mobis wrote. Competitors with similar approaches include the Israeli start-up Ree Automotive (“Ree Corner”) or Hitachi and DeepDrive with their wheel hub motors.
As Hyundai Mobis states, a skateboard module powered by four e-corner modules and equipped with autonomous driving features is to be created by 2023. Based on this, the supplier aims to provide a mobility solution for purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) by 2025.
The South Korean company had already presented the concept of the e-corner module for the first time at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Now the concept has been successfully redefined for practical use in automobiles and a device for controlling it has been developed and functional testing completed, the company reports. “The biggest advantage of the e-corner module is that it does not require any mechanical connection between parts, which thereby allows a better use of space within vehicle. Not only does it make it easier to change the wheel base, but it also ensures much more flexibility in designing the direction of doors and the size of the vehicle,” Hyundai Mobis elaborates.
The company describes itself as the seventh largest automotive supplier in the world with annual sales of nearly $30 billion. The company was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Seoul. The supplier’s portfolio includes sensors, software, various electrification components, brakes, chassis and suspension, steering, airbags, lighting and automotive electronics. Hyundai Mobis currently employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. In addition to its R&D headquarters in Korea, Mobis operates four technology centres in Germany, China, India and the United States.
The Group is also active in the hydrogen market: just earlier this month, Hyundai Mobis announced that it would invest around 1.3 trillion won (equivalent to about 950 million euros) in the construction of two plants for fuel cell systems in the Korean cities of Incheon and Ulsan. With an annual capacity of 100,000 fuel cell systems, the company wants to supply external customers as well as FC vehicles of its own group in the future.
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