Ford is working on an advanced fully controlled chassis, which can go to the off-road version of the electric pickup truck F-150 Lightning. The Drive has published excerpts from the relevant patent application and told about all the features of the system. Partly, its capabilities will coincide with the Crab Walk mode in the GMC Hummer EV, allowing the car to ride diagonally, but some points take the system to a fundamentally different level.
For example, one of the operating modes provides for rotation of rear wheels in antiphase with front wheels and simultaneous rotation of axles in the direction of each other. On slippery surfaces (mud, ice) it will allow the car to turn literally on the spot. Judging by the schemes, this trick requires two electric motors, but other options are also possible. In this case, the entire process will be simplified as much as possible, which means that the participation of the driver will be minimized.
Ford is also planning to introduce steering without a mechanical connection to the wheels. In this case, each wheel can be turned in any direction regardless of the other, which promises a lot of interesting possibilities. For example, by turning the wheels one side to the right and the other to the left, the SUV will be able to get out of a mud trap or rut. Certainly, it will not be difficult to implement and semblance of the Crab Walk mode, as in GMC Hummer EV.
Any of these modes will be activated manually or automatically. The level of traction of wheels with the road will be determined by torque sensors, so it is unlikely that all this will work, say, on asphalt roads. We are not talking about introducing the system into production vehicles yet, but an off-road variant of the F-150 Lightning pickup with a fully steerable chassis begs to be done.
Source: The Drive