Slovenian startup’s electric motor design signals advance for self-driving cars

Elaphe Propulsion Technologies recently introduced modular platforms for autonomous vehicles. The Slovenia-based company has manufactured electric in-wheel propulsion systems since 2003.

Maros Sefcovic, vice president of the European Commission’s Energy Union, praised Elaphe’s propulsion design platform for its simplicity, efficiency, and high-torque performance.  Sefcovic called the Elaphe design the “platform for the next generation of mobility.”

Elaphe’s 15-year focus on highly efficient, ultra-low weight, electromagnetic in-wheel motors led to two developments significant today: creative torque-vectoring solutions and a modular, plug-and-play platform for autonomous vehicles.

Torque vectoring technology varies the amount of power between wheels in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles. Originally used in race cars, torque vectoring helps acceleration and handling by improving traction. Electronic controllers in each wheel work in concert to apply power where it does the most good. Unless you are intentionally drifting a car, for example, the goal with torque vectoring is to keep the car under control, on the road, and traveling in the desired direction with the least tire slippage possible.

Electric cars such as Tesla’s Model S accelerate extraordinarily quickly because electric motors produce maximum torque from a standstill. Internal combustion engines (ICEs) need to rev up to reach maximum torque. Because there’s no wait for torque buildup with EVs, electric car designers can take greater advantage of torque-vectoring than with ICE-powered vehicles.

Elaphe In-wheel EV platform

Elaphe builds electric motors in each wheel, complete with independent cooling systems. With four motors, near-instant torque is available for each wheel. Each wheel also has a standard disc or drum brake plus a power electronics unit.

A vehicle propulsion control unit can interface with an autonomous driving controller unit or get input from a human driver, depending on vehicle design. A combined power distribution and management module coordinates the power sent to the motor in each wheel.

Elaphe manufactures each of the components in its modular autonomous vehicle platform and also develops and provides components for other manufacturers. Elaphe’s future focus is to provide vehicle designers some or all of the parts for mobility platforms with which designers can create a wide range of transportation products. Elaphe’s direct-drive in-wheel motors are adaptable for automotive manufacturers who plan to build self-driving cars with new powertrain design concepts, rather than by adding newer components to traditional vehicles.

Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

Tesla brings track mode to Model 3 Performance

The new Track Mode introduced for the Tesla 3 Performance model adds stability to the drive while you're behind the wheel and is specifically designed for driving on closed track courses.
Cars

Out of juice? Learn how to jump-start a car with this quick guide

Jumping a car is a simple procedure, but not everyone knows how to properly do so. To make things easier, we've put together a quick-hit guide on how to fire up your vehicle using jumper cables and a second power source.
Cars

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Prep your car for the coming snow and sleet with these cold weather tips

Driving in the winter, whether downtown or across the country, is rarely easy. Luckily, we've put together a quick rundown of a few things you should do to winterize your car before the snow officially hits.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Waymo’s driverless cars, ‘Fallout 76’ tips, and Racella

In today's episode of DT Daily, we discuss Waymo's foray into the ridesharing sector, along with various tips for making the most of the recently launched Fallout 76. We also sit down with singer Racella to chat about her new EP, Waves.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.