Uncrewed Systems Technology 051 l Primoco One 150 l Power management l Ocius Bluebottle USV l Steel E-Motive robotaxi l UAVs insight l Xponential 2023 p Issue 51 Aug/Sept 2023 art 2 l Aant Farm TPR72 l Servos l Tampa Deep Sea Barracuda AUV

60 Digest | Steel E-Motive robotaxi are investing in the autonomy space, and several Tier 1s are making the same movements,” Coates says. “Elsewhere you have start-ups like Canoo and Waymo that are positioned to be OEMs as well as service providers, but in most cases we anticipate that the providers will outsource manufacturing to OEMs, who have the production knowhow.” WorldAutoSteel and Ricardo expect the biggest markets for the SEMs and other robotaxis to be congested cities with the highest populations, where vehicle ownership costs are highest, and zero and ultra-low emissions zones are expected to make using and owning personal vehicles more expensive. To minimise fleet managers’ barriers to operation, pre-operational checklists for the SEM1 and SEM2 comprise standard procedures such as inspecting tyre condition, battery health and coolant fluids – much like conventional taxi and truck fleets – before giving them the green light to start carrying passengers. Autonomy coverage For 360o situational awareness, the recommended sensor integrations include 10 HD cameras distributed about the corners and bumpers of the SEM1, with four short-range Lidars placed at the four corners of the roof to provide better range and shape information than cameras. Six short-range radars positioned low at the four corners of the vehicle body and beneath the door apertures enable high-resolution proximity and velocity information on nearby objects, and both a long-range Lidar and radar at the rear bumper provide safety-critical velocity details on objects approaching from the rear (where crashes are traditionally most likely to come from). On top of the roof, a GNSS antenna enables periodic position checks. A satcom antenna will deliver health and navigation data to fleet managers (potentially in a similarly intermittent manner, as comms congestion and multi-pathing could hamper attempts at constant connectivity) as well as any kind of ad hoc swarm arbitration system that might be used to ensure taxis are distributed sensibly across cities. “Those kinds of sensors are increasingly supplied as COTS systems, and will be quite mainstream by the time this vehicle or derivations of it are adopted into companies’ manufacturing lines,” McGregor says. “What’s less mainstream is thinking about how the body structure affects how smoothly robotaxis can operate, so we’ve deviated from standard automotive designs to make something that regulators as well as passengers will actually approve of.” Steel in motion For instance the B-pillar, usually a central support structure between the front and rear doors, has been taken out of the body and recreated in the doors themselves, which open in a scissor-type motion to about 1 m width. That enables a sufficiently wide space for passengers to enter and exit smoothly – a critical consideration August/September 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Mobility as a service is anticipated to grow in large population centres, and making taxis autonomous without manual fallback controls will enable more efficient packaging and occupant spacing The B-pillar has been taken out of the body and recreated in the doors themselves, enabling a 1 m-wide opening for passengers to enter and exit smoothly