EV Trailer

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Despite advances in electric vehicle (EV) and autonomous driving technology, a meaningful improvement to individual automotive mobility remains elusive. While the humble wagon has been around since the horse and buggy, there’s not been improvements to the design that take advantage of 21st century automotive technology. The EV-trailer leverages advances in EV and autonomous steering technology to enable a new era of automotive mobility, enabling smaller and underpowered automobiles the ability to safely ‘tow’ larger trailed loads, trailer-trains, applicable to market sectors: recreation, logistics, military & defense, construction, etc. WagonTek’s mission is to enable a new era of automotive mobility by commercializing Advanced Wagon TechnologyTM (AWT).

Wagons are different than conventional trailers with features that enable modular, safe trailoring. Instead of the rear-axle of a tow vehicle providing significant support and control stability with a conventional tow-vehicle/trailer configuration, a wagon is stabilized independently by a spread wheel base and a steered front axle. Wind and inertia loads are reacted by the wagon’s four wheels on the road, similar to a conventional automobile. Also, interface forces on tow vehicle hitch are solely tension (pull) and compression (push) for a wagon, enabling further benefits.

Hitch forces on a tow vehicle are further reduced with AWT software automatic throttling, braking and reverse throttling of the trailer, further relieving push and pull loads. This is accomplished by first, measuring hitch loads from the wagon tongue, correlating measured force with tow vehicle operational mode, forward or reverse, and then automatically generating an appropriate throttle, brake or reverse throttle command on the trailer. For example, in towing mode, AWT software generates a proportional forward throttle command in response to an observed pull force, or a braking command in response to a push force. In reverse mode it flips: a push force corresponds to ‘reverse throttle’, while a pull force corresponds to a trailer braking command.

While several enhanced mobility trailer concepts (search ‘Electric trailer’ on your browser) propose EV powered conventional trailer platforms, these concepts are fraught with safety and liability concerns, similar to autonomous vehicles. Wagon-style trailers however, exhibit safe, stable towing characteristics without the risk of inadvertently imparting destabilizing vertical and side forces on the tow vehicle hitch, and associated liability.

The Technology

  • Generation 2 Prototype: ‘Multi-mode’ backing includes ‘back-straight’ where wagon backs straight regardless of wagon’s tongue (steering) orientation, and ‘conventional backing’, similar to conventional trailer.
  • Generation 3 Prototype (planning) adds: automatic throttle, brake and reverse-throttle functions on modified F -150 platform, electrified. Uses: RV-, dump-, tow-, utility-.
  • Supports both ‘steered-wheel’ and ‘steered-axle’ architectures; subsystem or EV microprocessor interface skateboard.

Partnering Opportunities

Prospective partners should be prepared to invest $100k with a dedicated automotive facility. Administrative fees only during development (no license fee). Prospective partners will have strength in one or more: EV technology, autonomous vehicles, software code development/CAN, automotive assembly and integration.

IP

Steering: 10,926,796 B1; 9,004,519 B1; 9,840,277 B1; 11,952,035 B2. Vehicle Management: 1,195,2035. Trade secret algorithms for autonomous backing.

Seeking DOT approval.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Geoffrey Beech
  • Type of entry:
    individual