TPU spin-off develops an intelligent steering system for KAMAZ unmanned vehicles

An unmanned electric bus by KAMAZ-1221 ShATL (widely adaptive transport logistics) was presented in Kazan, one of the cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is used to transport passengers from the fan zone to the Kazan Arena Stadium. The TPU spin-off NPF Mekhatrinika-Pro developed an intelligent electric drive of the steering rack.

Steering system for KAMAZ electric bus Photo: The Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises

The ShATL vehicle of the extra small class is intended for moving across roads with firm coatings via digital maps, navigation systems, and technical vision.  The designers of the electric bus announced that it may reach 110 km/h. However, since there is no legislation in the Russian Federation regulating the movement of unmanned vehicles, the speed of the vehicle was limited to 10 km/h during the presentation.

For the KAMAZ project, Tomsk scientists designed an electric drive based on own development, i.e. a universal Ac-Servo-200 servo controller. The system controls not only the first rack but also synchronizes with the second controller if necessary. It works as follows: the master drive receives a task from the chassis control unit, and when the front wheels turn around, the controller simultaneously forms a trajectory for the slave drive - turning the steering rack of the rear wheels. In order to ensure the optimal trajectory of unmanned vehicles when turning, both drives are synchronized depending on the movement rate.

The developed servo controller ensures control of very different electric drives, easily adapts to objectives of customers and can be exploited in steering systems of Russian and foreign drives of various types.

Commenting cooperation with KAMAZ the CEO of Mekhatronika-Pro Nikolay Gusev noted:

‘Currently, we are developing a universal hardware platform - a complete servo drive. It is applicable for integration into steering systems of both unmanned and classic cars.

The platform will allow implementing such solutions in various vehicles, including cars and heavy trucks. Besides, we have a number of developments which outstrip all counterparts in Russia, but so far we may not talk about this due to commercial reasons.