Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Motion Control Keeps Electric Car’s Four Wheels—and Four Motors—on the Road

Posted: January 23, 2013

experimental electric car under development at Th Ohio State University.

Junmin Wang

An experimental electric car under development at Ohio State University. Photo by Junmin Wang, Courtesy of Ohio State University.

by Pam Frost Gorder

It weighs half as much as a sports car, and turns on a dime—so its no surprise that the electric car being developed at Ohio State University needs an exceptional traction and motion control system to keep it on the road.

With four wheels that turn independently, each with its own built-in electric motor and set of batteries, the experimental car is the only one of its kind outside of commercial carmakers’ laboratories.

“It is considered one of the promising future vehicle architectures,” said Junmin Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and Director of the Vehicle Systems and Control Laboratory at Ohio State. “It would make a good in-city car—efficient and maneuverable, with no emissions. Our task is to make a robust control system to keep it safe and reliable.”

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