‘Affordable’ Driverless Robo-Taxi Platform Unveiled by Steel Consortium

A consortium of automotive steel companies has unveiled its first autonomous BEV platform in an event in Traverse City, Michigan, as the first stop on a US tour of the concept.

It is the result of a global steel industry initiative aimed at developing the world’s first fully autonomous, electric vehicle body structure concept initially aimed at ride-sharing. The project, called Steel E-Motive, is the culmination of a three-year research program led by the consortium of 18 global steel producers, dubbed WorldAutoSteel, and in partnership with global engineering firm Ricardo.

Its objective was to create a driverless ride-sharing vehicle concept showcasing the strength and durability of steel with a critical focus on sustainability for reaching net zero emissions targets. The project claims to have achieved a safe, comfortable and affordable body structure that supports automakers in the continued development of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) ride-sharing models.

Key program claims include:

  • Sustainability – potential for an 86% total lifecycle CO2 emissions reduction with a 282kg (640lbs) body structure, which is a 25% mass reduction over an expected reference vehicle of 374kg (823lbs);
  • Safety and Comfort – advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) body structure and closures purpose fit for MaaS electric vehicles, claiming to be the first autonomous vehicle engineered to meet global high speed crash regulations with IIHS “Good” rating.
  • Economy – Intelligent battery packaging that is 37% lighter and 27% lower in cost than average reference battery pack structures and applicable for current BEVs in development.

Cees ten Broek, director, WorldAutoSteel, said: “The objective of Steel E-Motive was twofold: one, as an industry, to create a solution that supports a sustainable, safe, and affordable future for urban mobility; and two, to showcase the role modern steel can play in making that future a reality. This project represents an important step forward for autonomous ride sharing and zero-emission transport, and truly demonstrates how working together as an industry yields important results.”


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