Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveiled the Mitsubishi eX electric crossover concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. MMC intends the eX to showcase next-generation electric vehicle technologies, as well as a new take on the Dynamic Shield front design concept.
The next-generation EV system employs a 45 kWh battery pack together with compact 70 kW electric motors, one on each axle, for a combined output of 140 kW. With further weight reductions in the vehicle itself, the eX can deliver a cruising range of 400 km (249 miles).
The Twin Motor 4WD drivetrain incorporates the S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system which uses braking to control the front wheels and a transfer mechanism (Active Yaw Control) that varies torque split between the rear wheels.
The driver can select between three different drive modes to extract the full performance of the S-AWC system.
AUTO mode uses sensors and cameras which monitor and feed back road surface conditions to the S-AWC control unit so that it automatically selects the optimum drive mode for the surface conditions encountered along the route.
GRAVEL delivers optimum traction and drive on unpaved roads and in heavy rain.
SNOW delivers optimum handling on snow-covered or other slippery surfaces.
The MITSUBISHI eX Concept can be connected to a V2H device that allows the energy stored in the drive battery to supply enough electricity battery to power domestic appliances in an average household for four days. A 1500W 100V AC socket also allows the battery to power home electric appliances when enjoying outdoor pursuits.
Installing the drive battery beneath the body lowered the center of gravity and, together with its Twin Motor 4WD and S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control systems, helps it provide handling control which faithfully reflects driver inputs as well as vehicle stability.
Other features include the application of automated driving technology which combines connected car technology, utilizing next-generation information systems, and advanced active safety technology.
Advanced active safety and driver assistance technology. The advanced active safety technology system comprises the Forward Collision Mitigation system (FCM) and the Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS). The scope of these camera and radar-based systems have been expanded to detect pedestrians and bicycles.
FCM automatically applies the brakes when the camera and radar detect a sudden reduction in the distance with the vehicle in front and helps to avoid a collision or reduce impact damage in the event of a collision. FCM also warns the driver if the camera and radar spot pedestrians and bicycles ahead at night or other times of poor visibility and the system determines there is the possibility of a collision. If necessary it will also automatically apply the brakes to avoid an accident to minimize or avoid injury.
Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS) + Brake Control use radar to detect obstructions either in front or behind the vehicle and regulates motor power when the driver presses their foot on the accelerator by mistake to prevent the vehicle from going forward. It also audibly and visually encourages the driver to take care.
The Blind Spot Warning system (BSW) uses ultrasound sensors and radar to monitor the areas behind the vehicle most likely to be blind spots. With both audible and visual alerts the system encourages the driver to take care when it detects a car behind, helping prevent them from failing to observe a vehicle at or approaching either rear corner from behind you when changing lanes on an expressway, for example.
The Lane Change Assist system (LCA) works in cooperation with BSW to assist the driver when there are traffic merging area or when changing lanes on a highway. Should a vehicle be detected approaching one of the rear corners of the car, LCA uses audible and visual alerts to encourage the driver to take care and automatically corrects the steering wheel angle if necessary to prevent contact with another vehicle.
When driving either forward or backward out of a garage that faces the road, this front and rear mounted camera- and radar-based system issues a warning when it detects an approaching vehicle.
As well as detecting irregularities in the road surface, the Road Condition Detection Sensor, a camera- and radar-based system, deduces changes in the vehicle’s operating environment—such as from asphalt to dirt to sand—and changes in road surface conditions due to the weather. This information is used in the control of the S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system.
The system also shares this road surface information with other cars through a connected car link. For example, this allows cars to adjust their driving based on information from other cars in front of them about road conditions that have suddenly worsened. Also, in the event of a natural disaster, the system can store and analyze data detected by a number of vehicles and inform many more cars about which roads are passable and the condition of such roads.
A communications-based accident avoidance system employs vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-road and vehicle-to-pedestrian communications to help prevent accidents by detecting objects the driver cannot readily see, and alerting the driver. For example: pedestrians on the other side of the car, or oncoming cars and pedestrians when the driver is waiting to turn at an intersection corner.
When parking in a garage or parallel-parking the car, a camera- and sensor-based Automated Parking Assist system monitors the amount of space available and the perimeter of the car and then automatically operates the steering wheel and brakes to complete the parking maneuver.
A Driver Monitor system employs an infrared camera in the dashboard and sensors in the steering column and the driver’s seat to monitor eye blinking, changes in posture, heart rate and other biological signals as well as vehicle drifting and other abnormalities in their driving to determine their level of wakefulness and encourages them to take a rest as necessary. Any time it detects a loss of concentration or that the driver has taken their eyes off the road ahead, the system immediately issues an alert.
Automated driving technology. The MITSUBISHI eX Concept pursues a variety of automated (and semi-automated running) driving technologies which are very compatible with EVs. MMC has developed, for example, an Automated Valet Parking system taking advantage of the precision control possible with electric motor drive. Automated Driving Mode position lamps are switched on to tell other vehicles when the automated driving system has taken over operation of the car.
Automated Valet Parking System / Wireless Battery Charging. Smart Valet Parking systems provide EV charging bays with wireless charging which uses solar or other renewable energy sources. EVs that need their battery charged are automatically driven to an available parking spot with a charging bay. When it is time to leave, the vehicle automatically drives itself back to the Smart Valet Parking area to pick up the driver and other occupants. Departure times and other instructions can easily be changed using a smartphone or smartwatch.
Automated driving (semi-automated running) on highways and other public roads. Using information from vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-road communications as well as from cameras and radar mounted to the car, the automated driving system analyzes the situation around the perimeter of the vehicle and autonomously varies vehicle speed or changes lane accordingly. The system also acquires information from the Cloud on traffic conditions at the destination and assists the driver in avoiding accidents.
The major technologies employed include:
Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC): When driving on highways or other roads this system uses vehicle-to-vehicle communications to share information on whether other vehicles are accelerating or decelerating and so make following a vehicle ahead smoother.
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): Uses cameras to determine the position of lane dividing lines and keep the vehicle between them.
Automated Lane Change: This system promotes safer driving by cooperating with LCA and BWS changing lane when it detects changes in the road situation ahead such as congestion, lane restrictions due to road works, or an object that has fallen off a vehicle ahead.
An Automated Obstacle Avoidance System uses cameras and radar mounted to the vehicle and communications with vehicles in the vicinity, detecting any obstacles so the car can avoid them. While intricately regulating the distance to other vehicles in the vicinity, whether in congested traffic or travelling at high speed on a highway, this makes for safer driving and also reduces electricity costs because it avoids unnecessary acceleration and braking.