Mitsubishi invests in SoftWheel; in-wheel systems
01 October 2018
Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan’s largest trading and investment company, joined SoftWheel’s latest investment round. Established in 2011, SoftWheel is a technology company headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.
SoftWheel develops advanced systems for the automotive industry, enabling the fusion of the drivetrain, suspension, e-motor, steering, and brakes into the vehicle’s wheel. Its technology enables significant reduction in space, weight, and energy consumption of vehicle platforms for EV, hybrid, and autonomous vehicles.
SoftWheel is also active in the personal mobility sector, providing in-wheel technology for wheelchair and bikes. SoftWheel’s system reduces pain for wheelchair riders and increases their comfort, significantly improving the daily riding experience.
SoftWheel is active in North America and Europe and is providing its wheelchair technology to American veterans through its partnership with Ki Mobility and to the general US market through Numotion. As medical devices, SoftWheel’s wheels, which are clinically proven to provide benefits and are FDA and CE approved, are reimbursed in select global markets.
At the center of SoftWheel’s technology is an innovative in-wheel suspension system. Suspension arms are set equidistant around a central hub to provide shock absorption, no matter the angle of impact from an obstacle.
The wheel rim is always rigid and strong, while the suspension arms and hub compress to provide shock absorption—and immediately reset to return the rider to a level ride.
As usual, there is the concern about unsprung weight. I wonder if something like this would work better for urban buses, where the ratio of unsprung weight is minimal compared to the body weight.
Posted by: David Freeman | 02 October 2018 at 10:42 AM