Central regions | Transport, logistics | Technology & innovation
Sberbank’s auto technology developer unveils prototype autonomous taxi
27 May '21
SberAutoTech, a high tech subsidiary of the Russian banking giant Sberbank, has rolled out its proprietary prototype electric vehicle which the developers say is “fully autonomous”.
Dubbed FLIP, the new autonomous EV is expected to epitomize a brand new mobility concept; its top (fifth) international autonomy level “offers passengers rapid, safe and comfy transportation enhanced with newest technologies from the IT and automotive worlds.”
Prototype FLIP taxi
At the heart of the FLIP design is a proprietary electric platform. The platform is driven by an electric motor powered by a plug-in battery module.
SberAutoTech’s key know-how is the arrangement of power cells which enables full replacement of all modules within five minutes (standard time a conventional ICE driven car typically spends at a gas station). The solution appears to annul the basic limitation for the broad use of electric vehicles caused by excessive charging time and the high cost of conventional batteries.
Electric-driven by default, the FLIP can run on other types of alternative fuel as well, including natural gas and hydrogen.
Sberbank is marketing the FLIP as a “fully autonomous and safe taxi of the future which, as an alternative, could also engage in freight transportation.” The autonomous EV will be integrated in Sberbank’s innovation ecosystem, Sberbank said, with navigation provided by 2GIS, a cartography service recently taken over by the bank; music coming from another Sberbank asset, SberZvooq; and video provided by the bank-owned online cinema Okko.
A user will be able to run the EV via a special virtual assistant enhanced app. The FLIP features a built-in face recognition system and a set of radar and lidar devices and cameras to ensure safe driving by identifying pedestrians, obstacles and surrounding objects. The technology makes it possible for the EV to interact with both road infrastructure and other FLIPs.