WABCO Announces Agreement with Nidec Corporation
September 19, 2018—
WABCO Holdings Inc. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nidec Motor Corporation (Nidec), a subsidiary of Nidec Corporation, to define, develop, manufacture and commercialize fully integrated electric drivetrain and brake control solutions for longitudinal control of commercial vehicles.
There is no existing powertrain solution in the industry today that integrates vehicle controls (braking system and electronic stability control) and electric motor controls. Developing a fully integrated, electric drive train solution by combining WABCO’s industry leading vehicle dynamics and controls with Nidec’s leading edge motors and inverter technologies will enable breakthrough efficiencies across all operating modes for fully electric operated buses, trucks and trailers.
The intent is to first develop these technologies for city buses as well as for electric trailer solutions as demonstrated in WABCO’s eTrailer prototype. These solutions can be further scaled to other commercial vehicle platforms as applicable in global markets.
The fully integrated electric drivetrain solution will operate on vehicle control information received from driver inputs (use of accelerator and brake pedals) to automate decision flow on how to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle in the most prudent and economic way. By introducing advanced, fully integrated electric drivetrain solutions in this market segment, WABCO and Nidec will provide best-in-class, efficient energy management, while maintaining stable vehicle dynamics. Also, the electric drivetrain solution will enable improved energy recuperation across all use cases which will contribute to additional efficiency gains.
Beyond the improvements in efficiency that this solution will offer it will also help offset some of the development and application costs for vehicle manufacturers, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership. Today, the cost of the battery represents a major portion of the total cost of a vehicle. Through this solution, battery capacity and size will be reduced, owing to leaps in efficiency improvements. Moreover, by optimizing the integration of the electronics, fewer electronic control units (ECUs) will be required.
Further, by reducing the complexity of the drivetrain and by fully supporting longitudinal vehicle control (acceleration and deceleration), this solution will result in just one simplified interface for autonomous driving applications.
“The close collaboration between the two world leaders in their respective fields is essential to generate superior innovative system solutions for the next generation of electric buses, trucks and trailers. This would be a more difficult, if not impossible, task if each were to work alone,” said Kei Pang, chief business development and strategy officer of Nidec.
“By combining our industry leading braking, steering and vehicle control systems with Nidec’s highly efficient electric motors and inverters, we will enable vehicle manufacturers to gain a new standard of drivetrain efficiency, through energy recuperation across all possible driving scenarios,” said Dr. Christian Brenneke, WABCO chief technology officer and head of engineering. “I am excited by the possibilities that this strategic cooperation will open up for vehicle manufacturers and the industry at large,” added Brenneke.
For WABCO, this strategic cooperation agreement with Nidec, a global technology leader for electric motors and inverters, will further extend its global technology leadership position within commercial vehicles into the nascent market for fully electrified drivetrain solutions for trucks and buses.