Unmanned Systems Technology 025 | iXblue DriX I Maintenance I UGVs I IDEX 2019 I Planck Aero Shearwater I Sky Power hybrid system I Delph Dynamics RH4 I GCSs I StreetDrone Twizy I Oceanology Americas 2019

86 A s more and more companies and researchers compete to develop and refine self-driving road vehicle algorithms, they stand to gain significantly from any kind of product or service that can cut development time and accelerate the pace at which autonomy software can be trialled and matured. Such a solution has already been supplied to a number of users by UK company StreetDrone. This Oxford-based team is developing a range of vehicles designed as platforms for r&d engineers to quickly and cost-effectively trial their self-driving control algorithms. The company’s flagship vehicle is the StreetDrone Twizy, which is based on the chassis of the Renault Twizy, a two-seater electric ‘quadricycle’ car. This has proved to be a good choice, as the vast majority of StreetDrone’s customers – particularly start-ups and university spin-outs aiming to attract forward-looking investors – have opted to develop autonomy stacks specifically for electric powertrain vehicles,. Power and steering The vehicle’s powertrain is largely unchanged from that of the base Renault Twizy. It is powered by a 6.1 kWh lithium- ion battery, and it has a single, axle- mounted electric motor for traction. “It’s quite a low-voltage system for an electric car,” says Fionan O’Sullivan, self-driving car engineer at StreetDrone. “It’s only in the 50 V range, so it doesn’t even actually technically apply as a high- voltage system; 60 V is typically defined as being the step change from low to high voltage. “Because it’s such a small vehicle though, and it’s architecturally simple compared to conventional four-door vehicles, it’s very appropriate for just doing city-based self-driving research.” StreetDrone’s future autonomous cars for self-driving research will come with the full high-voltage, motorway-capable systems seen in most electric cars. The company does not plan to interfere with the base vehicles’ powertrains, partly owing to the expense, and partly Rory Jackson reports on how developing self- driving software has been made easier and simpler using this compact electric two-seater Quick test drive April/May 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology StreetDrone has modified the Renault Twizy to offer self-driving vehicle developers a platform for rapidly trialling and maturing their autonomy technologies