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Enhancing Mobility using Innovative Technologies and Highly Flexible Autonomous Vehicles

Timo Birnschein; Christian Oekermann; Mehmed Yüksel; Benjamin Girault; Roman Szczuka; David Grünwald; Sven Kroffke; Mohammed Ahmed; Yong-Ho Yoo; Frank Kirchner
In: Advanced Microsystems for Automotive Applications 2014. International Forum on Advanced Microsystems for Automotive Applications (AMAA), Smart Systems for Safe, Clean and Automated Vehicles , Berlin, Germany, June 23-24, Berlin, Germany, Pages 49-58, Springer, 6/2014.


The combination of automobiles and typical robotic technologies such as high computational power, advanced exteroceptive sensors, and complex control algo-rithms can lead to a new kind of mobility. Features like extended maneuverability, autonomous driving systems, and new safety features become imaginable. To cre-ate the best combination of both fields, a new design philosophy is required. At DFKI, we have developed two generations of innovative concept cars (EO smart connecting car 1 and 2) with the intention to build the bridge between robotics and cars. The development of key parts like suspension, drivetrain, electrical steering, and braking system is more interconnected than in conventional vehicles. In this paper, we describe the development process of EO smart connecting car 2 - a highly innovative and fully functional robotic electric vehicle with double Acker-mann steering, the ability to turn on the spot, go sideways, drive diagonally, change ride height, and shrink by adjusting the position of its rear axle and tilting the cabin as well as docking at charging stations and extension modules. Detailed information of the utilization of Rapid Control Prototyping, and optimization strategies will be given as well as the design constraints for these technologies. Finally, the conclusion section will cover problems and challenges that had to be overcome and future work that will follow.