Elaphe Propulsion Technologies Selects IBM:
Providing Real-Time Road and Powertrain Data to Advance Autonomous and Connected Vehicles

August 28, 2018 – Elaphe’s longterm goal of improving safety in new modes of transportation has become a reality. The company is proud to announce selecting IBM as a partner to advance safety measures through Elaphe’s use of IBM Internet of Things (IoT) technologies on the IBM Cloud. By applying these advanced technologies, Elaphe will enhance new generations of vehicles by gathering crucial insights from intelligent real-time road information and in-wheel powertrain system data.

The advent of autonomous driving, AI and machine learning, has made data an integral part of in-car systems. Opportunities for innovation within the automotive industry, both at vehicle and fleet levels, are rapidly evolving, and market demand for new technologies is high, as is the need to drive unique value streams from innovations like in-wheel systems to advance mobility and introduce safer and more intelligent means of transportation.

Elaphe-in-wheel-drive-Advanced EV performance
Elaphe test vehicle using Elaphe™ L1500 in-wheel motors and advanced multiple-motor control electronics

AV control systems depend on multiple data sources to help eliminate uncertainty. Elaphe’s responsive in-wheel technology adds a layer of data insight that can prove invaluable to AV’s when facing inclement weather and adverse road conditions. Research conducted on an Elaphe test vehicle, revealed that while accelerating and cornering during an unexpected event, the vehicle demonstrated stable behavior when in-wheel torque vectoring functionality was enabled. The in-wheel powertrain improves stability during unwanted vehicle behavior and increases the available reaction time during an unexpected event by 0.25 to 1.75 seconds, bringing unprecedented safety and huge advantages to non-fully-autonomous vehicles where a driver might require more than the usual 0.8 seconds to react.

“The automotive industry is rapidly changing, making it hard to tell what the required future applications will be. Elaphe believes that investing in platforms is the best strategy which is why we are partnering with IBM as our connected car platform provider. Together, we are developing dedicated new mobility platform solutions,” says Elaphe CTO, Dr. Gorazd Gotovac, a rising star in automotive 2018.

The availability of real-time data about driving patterns, road conditions, weather and other elements are key to advancing the industry as we prepare for an increase in self-driving mobility. The IBM Watson IoT platform, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, is a robust, scalable and secure infrastructure that gathers, analyses and gains insights from multiple data sources – key to widespread adoption of the latest in in-wheel technology and other data-driven automotive innovations. Combined, IBM and Elaphe solutions enable continuous condition monitoring and provide a range of control possibilities that support the introduction of new business models and add value to automotive customers.

New functionalities of in-wheel electric powertrains can improve the performance, safety, and usability of connected and autonomous vehicles, such as mitigating vehicle instability and avoiding possible collisions in critical situations (i.e. a pedestrian avoidance maneuver), where a rapid and extremely dynamic response of the vehicle is required.

Elaphe GRIP control, for example, can determine and monitor the conditions in which an electric vehicle’s wheels might lose grip and slip. GRIP control is designed to operate on a large number of vehicles that share data in the IBM Cloud.

This data is combined with other data sources to create a holistic information database that is interoperable with AV systems, other weather data streams such as The Weather Company’s, an IBM business, and other data from the IoT ecosystem.

“In the new mobility revolution, our partners are successfully setting up for business on the IBM Cloud,” comments Mark Gildersleeve, VP and Head of Business Solutions, Watson Content and IoT Platform.

“The IBM Cloud is at the center of Elaphe’s Connected Car operations, where Elaphe and other IBM partners are collaborating and exploring the functionalities and synergies of IBM Watson IoT technologies to support new services and business models that open new playing fields for automotive manufacturers,” he concludes.