Nissan unveils Moon Rover prototype it jointly developed with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The lunar rover is being powered by the e-4ORCE AWD system from the all-new Ariya electric Crossover.
Nissan’s e-4ORCE tech precisely controls all four wheels independently.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has unveiled a lunar rover prototype that it jointly developed with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at its Nissan Futures event.
JAXA has been working with Nissan on driving controllability of the rovers since January 2020 as it aims to send a small robot to the Moon in 2022 to test a few things before sending a lunar rover.
Some of the requirements is that the lunar rover must be able to traverse the moon’s powdery, rocky and undulating terrain and be energy efficient. Furthermore, energy sources for operating vehicles in space are limited.
Nissan’s research applies the motor control technology it has developed through its production of mass-market electric vehicles such as the LEAF as well as the e-4ORCE all-wheel control technology featured on the all-new Ariya electric crossover.
Nissan Lunar Rover
In particular, it is e-4ORCE that is boosting the lunar rover’s performance over tricky terrain. Nissan’s e-4ORCE technology precisely controls all four wheels independently, providing the driver with confidence in various conditions.
JAXA Director of the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center, Ikkoh Funaki describes the research :
“JAXA aims to apply the research results to future space exploration. We are collaborating with companies, universities and research institutes on projects that are feasible and have potential for commercialization and innovation.”
“By conducting research with Nissan, which has expertise in electrified technologies, we hope to apply our findings to the development of higher-performance lunar rovers.”
Toshiyuki Nakajima, general manager of the Advanced Vehicle Engineering Department in charge of e-4ORCE control development at Nissan, says:
“The uses of automobiles and driving situations are wide-ranging. We aim for the ultimate driving performance through our research and development, and believe the knowhow gained from this joint research with JAXA will lead to innovations in our vehicles that will bring benefits to customers.”