Gordon Murray Design-Led Consortium Launches MOTIV Autonomous Vehicle Platform

Gordon Murray Design-Led Consortium Launches MOTIV Autonomous Vehicle Platform

Gordon Murray Design UK Consortium Delta Motorsport itMoves Launch MOTIV Autonomous Vehicle Platform iStream Superlight Technology IDP14 Electric Powertrain
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MOTIV uses GMD’s patented iStream Superlight technology to produce a safe and cost-effective autonomous vehicle; consortium targets autonomous technology and development partners

Gordon Murray Design (GMD) has led a consortium that has unveiled a unique and versatile autonomous vehicle platform called ‘MOTIV’ at the MOVE 2020 show in London. GMD leads this consortium, which includes other partners Delta Motorsport and itMoves. This platform is aimed at future mobility that is electric, autonomous and safe.

This consortium is partly funded through the UK Government’s ‘IDP14’ programme. The MOTIV platform offers a solution for future mobility development by creating a cost-effective, ultra-lightweight quadricycle vehicle platform that is designed to meet full passenger-car crash safety requirements. GMD notes that besides industry-leading safety credentials, the fully-electric unit is targeting significant cost savings and improved refinement over its rivals. This in addition to offering the range capabilities, platform flexibility and plug-and-play versatility that is required by autonomous customers with personal mobility or commercial delivery requirements.

MOTIV PLATFORM SPECIFICATIONS

The MOTIV platform has been designed keeping autonomous driving in mind. It is a single-seater pod, which provides the versatility of either personal transportation or last-mile deliveries. The platform has been engineered using GMD’s iStream Superlight technology. The focus of this vehicle platform is to provide a single-seater layout that provides a private mobility experience for people who typically move through busy cities in larger internal combustion (IC) engine vehicles. The consortium believes that MOTIV has the potential to significantly reduce congestion and emissions in city centres due to its fully-electric powertrain and compact footprint.

The MOTIV platform has a small footprint, with a length of 2,537 mm, combined with width and height of 1,310 mm and 1,628 mm, respectively. The vehicle weighs less than 450 kg without the battery, largely due to the iStream Superlight structure. MOTIV has been designed in accordance with European M1 crash regulations featuring a rear-wheel-drive layout, single gull-wing door for easy ‘walk-in’ entry and a contactless door opening system.

The powertrain of this autonomous-ready vehicle platform is formed by a 20 kW electric motor with a nominal voltage of 361 V delivering maximum torque of 48.4 Nm. The motor is claimed to ensure a 0-62 km/h time of 7.5 seconds, with a maximum speed of 65 km/h. The vehicle is said to offer a range of 100 km (WLTP) with a continuous run time of 2.5 hours. The battery powering the motor has a total capacity of 17.3 kWh, with 13.8 KWh being usable, and is located under the floor of the vehicle. The battery has CCS type charging with a fast-charge time of 40 minutes from 20-80 %. The entire battery, motor, and power electronics are liquid-cooled, and the powertrain is completed by a single-speed transmission.

In terms of suspension, the MOTIV platform is equipped with MacPherson strut in the front and iLink suspension system at the rear. The vehicle features steering-by-wire, and rides on 13-inch wheels with disc brakes up front and regenerative braking at the rear. ABS is another safety feature that this vehicle platform will be fitted with. The air-conditioning for the cabin is an integrated A/C system, with the interior also featuring a 24-inch display with a vertical lift.

FUTURE MOBILITY CAPABILITIES

The MOTIV platform is said to offer a unique proposition due to its compact size, extensive versatility, and capable range, especially for providers of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). The platform provides the opportunity for MaaS providers to use a product that is ready for immediate adaptation to driverless use with any form of autonomous technology. GMD said MOTIV is the first-of-its-kind platform to offer this degree of integration simplicity. The consortium aims to partner with autonomous technology providers for multiple pilot studies, in order to support its transition to autonomous road use. Following this final development phase, and dependent on application and legislation, the vehicle could be ready for mass production within two to five years, noted the company.

Professor Gordon Murray CBE, Chairman, Gordon Murray Group, said MOTIV has the potential to transform future mobility. “The best way to make any vehicle commercially viable and cost-effective, while delivering first-class efficiency, is to make it as light as it can be while retaining the highest levels of safety,” he added. Professor Murray noted that with MOTIV the consortium has used the iStream technology to create an ultra-lightweight body structure that delivers a vehicle that is compact, refined, safe and versatile while remaining capable of significant range.

In developing the MOTIV, the company has demonstrated that the future of mobility is lightweight, battery-powered and private, noted Nick Carpenter, Engineering Director, Delta Motorsport. He said that the control systems integrated into the platform prove that electrified vehicles need not be heavy and cumbersome, but can be nimble, lightweight and energy-saving. “MOTIV’s ‘plug-and-play’ high-voltage system makes it a truly viable solution to the world of autonomous driving,” added Carpenter.

CONCLUSION

The company that was responsible for the vision behind MOTIV, including the vehicle concept, strategy usability, and visual image was advanced mobility and innovation specialist itMoves. The design of the vehicle is contemporary, while also remaining compact and city-friendly, it noted. In addition, the interior of the vehicle provides an easy-to-access, comfortable space with an integrated HVAC system, and room to place a laptop.

Jose Paris, Director, itMoves, observed that the MOTIV design philosophy is based on three points - small footprint, first-class interior, and city-friendly image. The small size takes advantage of the fact that most people commute and move around by themselves, he said. Paris further noted that the spacious interior is comfortable and provides up-to-date user experience, acting as a ‘third space,’ to move around, work or relax in.

The MOTIV vehicle platform is a development testbed for autonomous systems due to its autonomous-ready design that is easier for companies to convert than a conventional vehicle. Typically, a conversion of a regular vehicle to become autonomous requires more hardware, effort and has compromises such as comparatively large size and low in efficiency. The MOTIV platform offers OEMs and MaaS providers a product that enables quick turnaround time in providing the market with a private form of autonomous mobility focussed at urban centres that are crowded. In addition, the fact that MOTIV was purpose-built as a platform for autonomy provides the possibility of testing its driverless capabilities right from launch. This gives the platform the potential to be the first fully-autonomous single-seater pod available on the market.

Naveen Arul
Author: Naveen Arul
As a Principal Correspondent based out of Bengaluru, Naveen has been covering the southern and western regions of the country for development of editorial content for the magazine, as well as website. Passionate about automobiles (two- and four-wheelers) from a very young age, Naveen has had the opportunity to learn and write about technologies in this sphere ever since he joined ATR in 2013. His personal interests predominantly revolve around learning mechanical aspects of any system and trying to work on them himself. He tweets @naveenarul