Battery platform enables self-driving electric pickup

November 30, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
A US startup has developed a self-driving electric pickup and SUV on a new battery and motor platform.

"We're launching Rivian with two vehicles that reimagine the pickup and SUV segments," said RJ Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian. "I started Rivian to deliver products that the world didn't already have – to redefine expectations through the application of technology and innovation. Starting with a clean sheet, we have spent years developing the technology to deliver the ideal vehicle for active customers. This means having great driving dynamics on any surface on- or off-road, providing cargo solutions to easily storing any type of gear whether it's a surf board or a fishing rod and, very importantly, being capable of driving long distances on a single charge. From the inside out, Rivian has developed its vehicles with adventurers at the core of every design and engineering decision. The R1T [pickup] and R1S [SUV] are the result of all this work and we are excited to finally introduce these products to the world."

The California startup has a development centre in London, UK, working on a platform to efficiently package the battery pack, drive units, suspension, braking and thermal system all below the height of the wheel. This delivers a low center of gravity that supports the vehicle's agility and stability. Added to this is a suspension architecture with unequal length double wishbone suspension in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. The suspension features dynamic roll control and adaptive dampers along with ride-height adjustable air-suspension – allowing the suspension to be adjusted for any condition whether its highway comfort, on-road performance or off-road capability.

Rivian's quad-motor system delivers 147kW and precise torque control to each wheel, enabling active torque vectoring with 3,500 Nm of grounded torque per wheel (14,000 Nm of torque for the full vehicle). This allows the R1T and R1S can both reach 60 mph in 3 seconds and 100 mph in less than 7 seconds.

"The beauty and elegance of our quad-motor setup isn't just about

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