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High-tech system keeps electric car on road

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.COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 24 (UPI) — A car with four electric-powered wheels that track independently can turn on a dime but needs sophisticated software to operate, its U.S. developers say.

Ohio State University researchers say their vehicle weights half as much as a sports car and is extremely maneuverable but because of its innovative design needs an exceptional traction and motion control system to keep it on the road.

Where conventional cars are limited in maneuverability by the transmission and differential systems that link the wheels together mechanically, the four independent wheels of the OSU electric car give drivers greater control and more freedom of movement.

An on-board computer samples input data from the steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake and calculates how each wheel should respond, and because the wheels are independent, one or more can brake while the others accelerate, providing enhanced traction and motion control, the researchers said.
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