Toyota’s GRIP EV “Crab Walking” in Japan

Testing Four-Wheel Steering with a Prototype
Toyota Research Institute「GRIP(Global Research Innovation Platform)」

Toyota’s Research Institute (TRI) unveiled their wheel-mounted motor EV prototype, called the Global Research Innovation Platform (GRIP), during their TRI Expo on February 15th, 2023, in Japan.

The prototype is developed as a testing ground for trials and features a Four-Wheel Steering (4WS). This system is able to fabricate in-phase control, wherein both front and back tires travel in the same direction. Additionally, reverse-phase control turns the wheels in the opposite path.

GRIP’s most notable feature is that it enables users to easily switch between in-phase control and reverse-phase control for the front and rear wheels on a computer. This means that the front and rear wheels can be turned in the same direction, making it possible to perform a “crab walk”. Alternatively, reverse-phase control allows for very tight turns with a very small turning radius.

It could be a case of deja vu – the GMC Hummer EV includes analogous technology which makes it able to go sideways, like a crab. Perfect for rough terrain when off-roading.

Grip features a motor fitted inside the wheel, so as to avoid disruption of direction management. It can keep rotating in circles reliabily. The car’s frame is crafted from iron, allowing for straightforward post-production and diverse experiments. All of its parts are fastened, making it possible for the car’s wheelbase to be adjusted.

At the top of this page you can watch a video of the presentation in which tests were conducted on the prototype. One of the courses was a slalom course, and the demonstration also included the prototype’s ability to “drift”.

Research and development for Toyota’s GRIP EV prototype continues, yet it is uncertain if it will be released on the market in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the technology support this project could be implemented in other automobiles and applications, offering enhanced safety and more effective driving experiences.

Source: Car Watch via YouTube


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