A new Protean Electric ‘corner module’ concept that integrates advanced powertrain, steering and suspension technologies within a single product will help next-generation urban transport vehicles better meet the needs of operators and users.
The module, called Protean360+, is thought to be the first of its kind to be developed for commercial applications that offers a limitless 360-degree steering capability. This is combined with innovative suspension, pneumatic ride-height control and a highly efficient and powerful ProteanDrive in-wheel electric motor.
Protean is developing the Protean360+ module for next-generation urban transport vehicles tasked with smoothly and efficiently moving people and goods around busy conurbations. The module’s compact packaging will allow for an entirely flat vehicle interior floor and sufficient lateral access to offer wheelchair ingress and egress via front, rear and side doors, bringing better mobility solutions for all. This also means the vehicle can park front-, rear-, or side-on to the kerb, and occupants can disembark straight onto the pavement without having to step into the road.
The exceptional manoeuvrability enabled by the 360-degree steering system will allow for exceptional versatility on busy urban streets, and parking in tight spaces with absolute kerb-side precision. Once stationary, the pneumatic ride height control of Protean360+ will enable the vehicle to ‘kneel’, dropping the vehicle entry-point to kerb level. This will afford stepless and virtually gapless ingress and egress for heavy or cumbersome loads or 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.”