Een artikel over het KURT concept werd opgenomen in Bits&Chips, nadien overgenomen door Mechatronica&Machinebouw. Voor de Nederlandstalige lezer biedt het een beknopt overzicht van de ontstaansgeschiedenis en het onderliggende modulaire en schaalbare platform. Ondertussen werd dit al uitgewerkt in meerdere versies gaande van een specifiek platform voor gebruik in ziekenhuizen, transport en mobiliteit in de binnenstad en zwaar logistiek transport op luchthavens.
Altreonic and the pioneering Luud Schimmelpennink are bridging the gap between the 1970’s when the first shared e-vehicles were introduced in Amsterdam and today when the concept and need is more then ever present allowing sustainable mobility and transport in city centres.
The result is a new form of individualised public transport, a hybrid between a vehicle sharing scheme and a public transport system (e.g. like the metro or bus).
Rather than needing a fixed transport network, a virtual grid is superimposed on the city. The gridlines intersect at the nodes, at which the vehicles are rented and when not driving stored and charged. If space permits, this can be above the ground of else under the ground in narrow automated tunnel tubes. As the user is still the driver (at least for now), he is fully free to drive above the ground from a selected starting point to a selected end-point. The charging is by the minute, encouraging to take the most efficient route. As the vehicles are small (110 cm wide) and have a maximum speed of 25 km/hr, they can be safely used together with cyclists and pedestrians. E-bikes are actually part of the offering, next to the City_KURTs that is designed for 2 or 4 people. Later extensions consider city-logistics and longer distance driving (e.g. on the upcoming bicycle highways).
The scheme is a perfect illustration of how electric vehicles are ready and offer sustainable solutions for urban mobility. The City-KURT vehicle uses much less space than traditional vehicles and thanks to its optimised design, is low on energy consumption. While it can be charged from a standard electricity connection, its energy consumption is about 10% of the average car.
The international Systems Engineering magazine has recently recognised Luud’s pioneering role in a special section on “Engineers who made a difference”. Altreonic and Luud share many views (see e.g. the article on Packet Switching for Mobility). Altreonic is pleased to work together with Luud on this challenging but innovative project that has the potential to drastically contribute to the sustainability of mobility in our cities.
2016 has been a difficult year for the world. If engineering trustworthy systems is not easy, engineering a trustworthy world is still beyond our reach. On the other hand, every mishap is an opportunity to do better next time. What seems to be the weak point is passing on the lessons learned. This explains why we have the cycles of Kontradiev and history seems to repeat itself.
Nevertheless, this year we were able to make good progress. Altreonic’s GoedelWorks is now a stable engineering platform, VirtuosoNext Designer is now probably the most safe and secure RTOS environment and we applied these technologies ourselves in developing the KURT e-vehicle platform into a demonstrator vehicle with first commercial applications. It would be a mistake to assume that this is all a matter of technology. The binding glue is teamwork.
Stay tuned for more in 2017 and wishing you all a better world.
The Altreonic KURT team.
Strengthening the European Electric Vehicle Market:
Promoting Solutions towards Sustainable and Efficient Mobility
Date: Tuesday 20th September 2016
Time: 10:00am — 4:30pm
Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre
Program and registration here
Altreonic will be presenting at the Podcar City conference on Tuesday 20 September 2016, Antwerp.
Title: The long road from proof of concept to real-world autonomous driving.
Productivity and safety in hospitals, factories and cities can greatly be increased by substituting human drivers in vehicles by computer-controlled mechanisms. This requires expertise from various disciplines, such as control theory, hazard & risk analysis, and formal development techniques. Altreonic has in-house methodologies addressing these challenges and is a forerunner in using formal methods for safety engineering.
Altreonic’s light electric vehicle platform, called Kurt, relies on a modular and scalable architecture and is completely controlled by software. It is the result of a clear-cut conceptual design. The scalable architecture was designed from the very beginning with autonomous driving in mind, even if the standard configuration doesn’t provide this capability. Steer by wire, e.g. control by software is used to reduce the material cost but also to increase safety and flexibility. Formal methods are used to achieve the trust that users want.
We will illustrate how some parts of Altreonic’s vehicle and remote-control device have been formally designed, model checked and subsequently implemented and tested. The main gain of formal methods for Altreonic is conceptual clarity pertaining to all engineering phases of the Kurt vehicle platform.
Altreonic will present the KURT e-mobility platform at the World Light Electric Vehicle Summit in Barcelona, 20-21 September 2016.
A paper “KURT: A Novel Scalable and Modular E-vehicle Platform for Cost-efficient Urban Mobility” will be presented on Wednesday 21st September (lecture D1) by Pieter Van Schaik. Visit Altreonic to learn more about KURT at the exhibition.
Altreonic received the seal of excellence from the European Commission for its SME-II project proposal under the title “Sustainable electric mobility for urban environments by deploying a novel and disruptive e-vehicle system for city logistics and people transport”.
This means that Altreonic passed all stringent Horizon 2020 assessment thresholds for all award criteria: excellence, impact, quality and efficiency of implementation. The very positive evaluation by independent international experts is a very positive encouragement for our efforts over the last 3 years to develop KURT as a modular and scalable electric vehicle platform. Uniquely versatile, it might well be an enabler for urban electro-mobility, indoors as well as outdoors, to take off.
Electric driving is the future. The concept is far from novel, but due to cheap oil and deficient batteries it was too early to convince the general public. That is about to change as mobility with traditional engines is reaching its limits. Batteries are increasingly becoming more powerful and affordable. Away with pollution, noise and traffic jams.