Elcano self driving trike project targets sub-$1000 price and achieve the equivalent of 1000 mpge

The Elcano Project aims to make self-drive real for students and hobbyists. The Elcano Project provides a blueprint for building your own experimental automated vehicle using electronics and sensors costing under $1000. A tricycle with an electric helper motor under 750 Watt and top speed under 20 mph is legally a bicycle, and thus street-legal without license, registration or insurance.

The goals of the Elcano Project are:
* Make autonomy available to non-specialists.
* Produce an experimental vehicle and electronics costing less than $5,000 total. A fully enclosed road-worthy production vehicle should cost less than $10,000.
* Generate public demand for road automation.
* Encourage high fuel efficiency (1000 mpg / 0.25 L/100 km) through ultra-light automated vehicles.
* Set standards for cooperative automation using a scalable distributed Traffic Management System.

The long term vision is not a single self-driving vehicle, but a collection of such vehicles that communicates with each other. Automatic vehicles can take instructions from a roadside Traffic Management Computer that manages a section of roadways. These computers would link together to form a distributed, scalable Traffic Management System; such a system can reduce congestion.

China’s Baidu is believed to be working on unmanned self driving bicycles. The Elcano project shows that the self driving bicycle concept is real and would be very worthwhile.

Recumbant trikes are super-energy efficient [ IEEE Energy and Autonomous Urban Land Vehicles (10 pages)]

The vehicle that minimizes power consumption looks like a three wheeled recumbent motorcycle enclosed by a streamlined body. It might be 0.8 meters wide, 1.2 meters high and 3 meters long. A tandem version might double the length. These pod cars would be primarily designed for commuting. If used by a family or group, several pods can be electronically linked to each other and function as a single vehicle. A shopper can attach a second vehicle to carry purchases.

About 50 times more energy efficient than a car

Self stabilizing autonomous bicycle

Hackaday reports on a self stabilizing autonomous bicycle.

Autonomous Bicycle stabilized by an accelerated reaction wheel and modelled as an inverted pendulum:

This diploma thesis is about balancing a standing bicycle. Stabilizing this one-track vehicle was modelled on the basis of an inverted pendulum which also served as preliminary study on controlling algorithms and on the applicability of electronic equipment utilized in the later campaign.
Measured state variables being crucial for the controlling are listed below:

– Inclination angle of the pendulum / bicycle
– Angular speed of the pendulum / bicycle
– Speed of rotation of the wheel

Rotation of the reaction wheel is measured by an optical incremental encoder which is attached to the shaft of the Faulhaber DC-Motor. The supply voltage to the DC-Motor controls the speed of rotation of the wheel. It is provided by a 24V lead battery. An H-Bridge regulates the turning direction and the required voltage by a pulse width modulation. The motor equation gives information about the current, which is proportional to the torque. The Torque of the reaction wheel minimizes any angular pitch which is measured by the inertial measurement unit CHR-6d. Good stabilization results were achieved with a Classical Riccati Controller.

Electric trikes and two wheel self balancing electric car from other projects

Self driving car sensors and electronics could brought down to $155 in the nearterm

Oxford university was developing a system for self driving robotic cars using off the shelf electronics that they believe can become as cheap as $155 per vehicle. Low cost electronics for self driving cars combined with super-efficient ultra-light trikes would be more economical than flying drones and could carry more cargo.

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