By David Rafalovsky, CTO, Sberbank Group; executive vice president, head of technology, Sberbank
SberAutoTech, a Sber ecosystem company, has revealed a prototype of its own autonomous vehicle for future mobility, which it has named “FLIP”.
The brand-new and fully self-driving vehicle has been developed to match the highest level in international driving automation classification. It pursues the new mobility concept providing quick, safe, and comfortable transportation for passengers through cutting-edge IT and automotive technologies.
There is a proprietary electric platform driven by an electric motor powered by a replaceable battery module at the core of FLIP. Key differentiating know-how is that fast-swappable batteries can be replaced in five minutes.
So the vehicle is ready to continue the journey in time comparable to a fueling of a conventional car.
Fast-swappable batteries is a solution that removes the current challenges of EV market, such as extensive charging time and high battery prices resulting from their expected capacity and range.
Moreover, FLIP is designed to be powered from both electricity and other alternative fuels like natural gas and hydrogen.
SberAutoTech’s digital platform of FLIP is inherently designed to comply with the requirements for connected and autonomous vehicles to open a new chapter in the evolution of private and public transport.
New mobility powered by FLIPs has the potential to reduce the number of vehicles in the streets, solve the last mile problem and deliver a fundamentally new level of comfort that can’t be achieved by public transport yet.
FLIP’s electric platform design ensures maximum flexibility and allows to place a variety of vehicle bodies – passenger, truck or a combined one.
FLIP has the dimensions of a conventional passenger car, measuring 3.62 m by 1.95 m, but has 40 percent more interior space thanks to design free of the space-consuming elements typical for cars with internal combustion engines.
Designed as a fully autonomous vehicle, FLIP has no traditional control panels and is capable of carrying six persons with maximum comfort.
FLIP by SberAutoTech is designed for new mobility scenarios. Fully connected autonomous and safe taxi of the future is available via a user app.
Trip safety and customization are achieved with passenger face recognition and user-friendly communication with a virtual assistant named Salute.
Infotainment for FLIP passengers is powered by services of the Sber ecosystem and Sber partners: 2GIS navigation, setting music streaming Services of SberSound and video streaming via Okko.
Highest possible level of FLIP driving automation is based on SberAutoTech’s self-driving technology using a combination of lidars, radars, and cameras to evaluate the road environment. FLIP supports both V2V and V2X so it is ready to interact with both other FLIPs and the road infrastructure.
Current bench-testing of FLIP prototypes is made by SberAutoTech on closed tracks to meet current Russian legislation on self-driving vehicles. Touch-and-feel presentation of FLIP for public will be available shortly during St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, held June 2-5.
FLIP’s electric platform removes all limitations resulting from the layouts of conventional vehicles. Combined with the flexible architecture of SberAutoTech’s self-driving technology, it will enable us to roll out solutions across a variety of verticals, like freight transport, last mile, and taxis.
These technologies are the future, and we are proud that the evolution of this track is possible thanks to the synergy achieved within the ecosystem and thanks to SberAutoTech engineering solutions.