A Research Platform for Singapore

Individual Mobility Vehicles & Services

Overview

The working hypothesis of the area Individual Mobility Vehicles & Services (IMVS) is shared with RRT. It is to close the transport capacity gap between bus and MRT in Singapore and similar cities. While RRT is looking into the overall transport concept, IMVS is using those outputs to come up with detailed vehicle concepts to suit this new transit mode. For this we focus on different aspects of how such vehicles could be designed to suit their purpose in a better way while operating more efficiently. Research topics include the development of an efficient and modular powertrain, a new design for user interaction and methods for rapid and environmental prototyping and production. TUMCREATE will come up with an overall transport solution, to which IMVS will contribute the suitable vehicle concepts, co-developed with support from DAM, SMAT and AIDA.

Research

In the IMVS area, research focusses on mechanical, electrical and software demonstrators and (virtual) prototypes that serve as a proof-of-concept and illustrate the feasibility of the developed approaches. The planned work is separated into the four main work packages described below. These packages depend on each other and form the vehicle concepts. These concepts are designed to be modular and upgradeable, with associated scalable hardware and software architectures. They are part of the overall transportation concept developed by TUMCREATE.

 

Vehicle Concept Development

This work package starts with the analysis and identification of areas for improvement of the current transportation system. Based on these findings, new vehicle concepts will be introduced, for which requirements have to be determined depending on how these new vehicles would integrate with other modes of the existing transportation system. Simulation tools are developed to specify the defining parameters of the vehicle concepts e.g. vehicle capacity, powertrain technology, daily mileage and driving patterns for different use case scenarios.

These tools developed helps in the definition of the detailed vehicle specifications for the SRT. The vehicle specifications would include very important parameters apart from the Module Exterior dimensions such as HVAC, Powertrain, Chassis Systems and Operations.

 

Modular powertrain

Novel modular powertrain architectures with scalable components are being investigated, together with architecture simulation techniques, a design platform and standardized interface specifications.

The motivation is to simplify prototyping by eliminating problems, which might occur when different system components are brought together. Modular powertrain systems can be suitable for various vehicle concepts.

Also, Energy Storage Solutions (ESS) are being investigated to decide on the Battery Pack and its sizing. The ESS solution must align with the mobility needs, infrastructure and the SRT Operations.

 

Vehicle-User Interaction

Intuitive user-vehicle interaction is crucial for the acceptance and success of new transportation solutions. Thus, the physical as well as the virtual interactions between passengers and the newly developed vehicles are investigated, evaluated and optimized. This will include

  • Development of  Active Interaction Modes (Screen, Touch/Haptic Response, Interactive feedback, hands free payment)
  • Develop Passive Interactions Modes (Chairs, seats, layout, doors, handles, accessibility features)

 

Vehicle Packaging

The main focus is to create a complete Vehicle Package for the SRT Module that includes advanced vehicle concepts and features that would be relevant for the future Autonomous Public transport system. Huge efforts are put in the research direction to solve some of the basic problems that cannot be addressed in the non-autonomous vehicles. Also, one important focus is to improve the flexibility in the vehicle concepts development process so that the package could be scalable. This is achievable by parameterization of vehicle package. Some interesting research areas that are being investigated includes

  • Independent all Wheel Steering for Autonomous Vehicles. Here the possibilities of reduction of steering angle without affecting the low turning radius are being developed through new control strategies and simulations.
  • Optimization of HVAC for reduction of Energy consumption in tropical weather conditions.
  • Improvement in the Suspension System to provide the best comfort and also enable better accessibility at the bus stops by implementation of advanced Electronic Air Suspension System.

 

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