Screen-Shot-2018-04-12-at-6.03.28-PM-300x185.

The "Schaeffler Mover" has a flexible architecture that can be adapted for various use cases (Photo: Schaeffler)

Schaeffler has unveiled the “Schaeffler Mover,” an urban vehicle concept that offers a technology platform that lends itself to various scenarios.

The feasibility study is the German engineering group’s attempt to prepare for future mobility requirements that will be determined by people living in rapidly growing metropolitan areas.

The Schaeffler Mover can be adapted to be a robo-taxi, an autonomous delivery vehicle or something else.

The vehicle comes with wheel hub drive and a 90-degree steering system. Drive and chassis components are part of a space-saving construction the company calls the “Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module.”

The electric wheel hub motors are a variant of the motors already developed by Schaeffler in a 2013 project. Each of the four motors supplies a continuous output of 13 kilowatts with temporary peak output of 25 kilowatts.

Schaeffler has built a so-called digital twin of the vehicle in the cloud, which it said is a prerequisite for smooth operation of an autonomous city vehicle. The twin helps identify future maintenance requirements, for example, through continuous analysis of operating and vehicle-condition data.

Schaeffler believes its study could actually go into production in the future. “This vehicle is consistently designed for interconnected operation and fills a significant gap in the current portfolio of the automobile industry,” CTO Peter Gutzmer said in a press release.

The company said a roadworthy prototype may be built in the course of 2018.

-By Arjen Bongard

(Editor's note: Schaeffler Group Americas CIO Shoukat Ali Bhamani will be a featured speaker at the automotiveIT International conference in Atlanta May 21-23. For more information on the event, please go to: www.automotiveITconference.com)