Research on the lunar rover’s performance applying e-4ORCE

Nissan aims to boost the rover’s driving performance on the tricky lunar surface, through the joint research with JAXA

Nissan has been developing a lunar rover prototype jointly with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The JAXA Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center is conducting research on lunar rovers — a key technology for space exploration. Nissan has been working with JAXA on driving controllability of the rovers since January 2020.

A lunar rover must be able to traverse the moon’s powdery, rocky and undulating terrain and be energy efficient. Furthermore, energy sources for operating vehicles in space are limited.

Nissan’s research applies the motor control technology it has developed through its production of mass-market electric vehicles as well as the e-4ORCE all-wheel control technology. In particular, it is e-4ORCE that is boosting the lunar rover’s performance in tricky terrain.

Ultimate driving performance through EV all-wheel control technology

Nissan has focused on the development of stable driving performance that enables customers to drive their cars with greater confidence. Nissan’s e-4ORCE technology precisely controls all four wheels independently, providing the driver with confidence in various conditions.

In its joint research with JAXA, Nissan is evolving e-4ORCE technology to improve its performance in sandy terrain and other harsh conditions. When cars are driven in sand their wheels frequently spin and dig in, impeding progress. A high level of driving skill is required to avoid getting stuck. To meet this need, Nissan has developed driving-force controls that minimize the amount of wheel spin in accordance with surface conditions.

Through the joint research, Nissan aims to contribute to the technological evolution of automotive technology and space exploration technology by sharing knowhow gained from test-vehicle development and combining it with JAXA's knowledge of rover development.

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e-4ORCE

e-4ORCE realizes a new generation of EV driving which consists of a greater confidence in driving and a comfortable ride for all