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From Drive-Brake Unit to Highly Integrated Corner Module

Revolutionizing Vehicle Dynamics

Continental, in collaboration with the Munich-based high-tech company DeepDrive, is pioneering a breakthrough in vehicle proplusion technology. By integrating an electric wheel hub motor with a ficition brake, known as a Drive-Brake Unit, Continental is revolutionizing the automotive industry. This innovative approach not only enhances efficiency but also unlocks new possibilities for vehicle design and features.  

Advantages of the Drive-Brake Unit

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The Drive-Brake Unit offers significant advantages over traditional axle drives, making it an attractive option for OEMs across various vehicle segments:  

  • Up to 20% more energy-efficient than axle drives, leading to reduced battery size or increased vehicle range.
  • Frees up valuable installation space between wheels, enabling creative vehicle concepts.
  • Ideal for torque vectoring, enhancing vehicle agility and stability.  
  • Easily replaceable including a smart remanufacturing concept.  
  • Enables seamless brake blending during recuperation, enhancing driving efficiency.  

Features of the Drive-Brake Unit

Continental's Drive-Brake Unit combines a highly efficient wheel hub motor with an inegrated hydraulic brake in the first step followed by an electro-mechanical brake in the second step. It is designed for various vehicle segments:  

  • Utilizes a liquid-cooled, radial-flux, Dual-Rotor wheel hub motor with high torque density.  
  • Available in multiple voltage models, delivering competitive power on each wheel.
  • Integration of innovative inverter with silicon carbide chips ensures space-saving design and high efficiency.  
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Embracing the electrification of vehicles, our innovative Drive-Brake Unit merges electric drive and brakes seamlessly. This cornerstone technology paves the way for integrating drive, brakes, suspension, and steering into complete Corner Modules. Revolutionizing the industry, it offers unparalleled flexibility and performance, along with extraordinary functionalities like crab-walk parking and zero-turn capabilities."

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Andreas Zwick

Head of Innovation and Engineering Excellence

High-Level Integration: The 180° Corner Module

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The Drive-Brake Unit represents the first step towards a fully integrated 180° Corner Module.  

  • Includes suspension, shock absorber, rim, and optimized tire type.  
  • Optional integration of steering system for enhanced maneuverability.  

OEM Advantages 

The innovative concept of the 180° Corner Module offers numerous benefits for OEMs:  

  • Compact and highly integrated, by-wire chassis and propulsion system, eliminating the need for transmission, maximizing efficiency.  
  • Reduced R&D effort for manufacturers due to the ready-to-use approach.  
  • Plug & go concept streamlines vehicle assembly and service processes, eliminating tasks like the fill & bleed process.  
  • Scalable and modular construction kit for all chassis components including steering, motor, brake system, and wheels.  
  • Smart actuator to control all movement axes already prepared for the new E/E architectures (Software-defined vehicle).     
  • Exceptional steering angles enable a variety of movement functions.  
  • Integrated ECU reduces the need for multiple electronic control units and simplifies overall wiring.  
  • Supports automated driving architectures by providing safety through redundancy.  
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Functional Scope

The  180° Corner Module  provides advanced control functions for propulsion as well as chassis and offers additional functionalities for enhanced vehicle operation:

  • Parallel parking / Crab movement  
  • Turn-on-the-spot / U-turn
  • Pivot turn (around one wheel)
  • Diagonal driving
  • Integrated control functions for highly efficient propulsion & chassis control  
  • Silent single wheel torque control  
  • Slip control including blending  

Conclusion

Continental's and DeepDrive's Drive-Brake Unit and integrated 180° Corner Module represent a paradigm shift in vehicle dynamics and design. With a focus on efficiency, performance, and adaptability, these innovations are set to redefine the future of automotive technology. As OEMs express keen interest, the journey towards a modular, sustainable vehicle ecosystem continues.  

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