Michelin Will has the Car Wheels doing the Driving

By Automotive Staff | March 09, 2009
Michelin, that famous tire company with the Michelin blimp as the commercial spokes -- ah -- thing, has been developing a specific type of new technology over a 12 year span.Now that technology is about to be introduced in a new car called the Will. The technology is called “Active Wheel Technology”. It involves integrating an electric motor, brakes, and suspension functions inside the vehicle’s wheel. Here’s how it works. Each wheel has its own pair of electric motors. One spins the wheel and transmits power to the ground and the other serves as an active suspension system by controlling an actuator connected to a damping system with various levels of firmness.
“Active Wheel Technology” eliminates the need for a gearbox, clutch, transmission shaft, differential, and shock absorbers. And, since all of these components are not necessary, this means that the floor of the vehicle can be totally flat. And that could maximize interior space and assist in under the car aerodynamics. Moreover, the technology eliminates the need for an engine in the front of the vehicle. So the so-called engine compartment can become an impact absorption zone in case of a front end collision. French company called Heuliez, known for producing versions of the Citroen and Peugeot cars, will be using the “Active Wheel Technology” on its new Will. Our take? Now that is beyond cool! via Motor Authority

Well this blows me away. Will be looking forward to hearing more about this.