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The basic idea behind our ATV and answers to questions.

After the first video, we received a lot of questions and decided to tell the basic idea of our device. About the solution to the unsprung weight problem and what are our advantages.
Hello everyone!
I am Ilia, Co-founder of a startup called 18 WHEELS that develops an innovative, all-season electric All-Terrain-Vehicle. First, I would like to warmly thank you all for your interest in our project, many words of support, recommendations, and feedback. Secondly, I would like to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions. They can all be summarized in the following groups, even If they seem to be different:
1. Why are there so many wheels that are very small?
2. Why don't you use tracks?
3. Why complicate things and not just stick 4 big wheels?
4. What's the idea behind it in the first place, why does it look so weird?
The answer to all these questions lies in solving two fundamental problems:
The first is known as the unsprung weight, and the second relates to the hub-and-wheel concept. We'll talk about them today.
So, what is unsprung mass? In simple terms, it is the mass of all elements of the vehicle under the shock absorbers. These are wheels, disks, the suspension system, the braking system, as well as the drive system and so on. Everything above the shock absorbers (engine housing, etc.) is called the sprung mass. The ratio of sprung and unsprung mass is of great importance because the force with which the unsprung components act on the vehicle from bottom to top must be compensated by the weight of the sprung mass. Otherwise, the vehicle loses grip and stability, which affects its handling. To solve this problem, manufacturers try to reduce the unsprung weight as much as possible, by installing Alloy wheels, lightweight tires, and making other elements/materials as light as possible. In off-road vehicles and ATVs, this problem is even more acute, because in order to overcome obstacles they need a reliable (heavier) suspension, wheels of a large diameter with massive tires, and a four-wheel drive (4WD) system. All this leads to the fact that the unsprung weight of such vehicles is very high. That's why it's hard to imagine drift racing on an SUV, it will just flip over.
Let's move on to the second concept: the "Hub-Wheel", which involves embedding the electric motor directly into the wheel, eliminating the need for a transmission, shafts, and gearboxes. Most engineers involved in electric vehicle development strive to realize a Hub-and-Wheel solution. However, embedding an electric motor in a wheel significantly increases unsprung weight, negating the benefits of this concept.
So, what is the innovation of our solution? We have minimized unsprung weight as much as possible by using 18 lightweight polyurethane wheels with lightweight electric motors inside. And by eliminating any other elements that could affect the mass, as the suspension system is attached directly to the wheel axle without any additional elements, braking system, and transmission. If the unsprung weight of a normal ATV is approximately 25-30 kg, our design is only 2.2 kg. Thanks to this innovative solution our All-Terrain Vehicle can overcome serious obstacles, fallen trees and curbs up to 35 cm, and even stairs while maintaining a high speed of more than 60 km/h. Now, there is no other vehicle capable of such feats. While there are All-Terrain Vehicles capable of overcoming large obstacles, they do so slowly, with difficulty, and often cause discomfort to the driver. 18 Wheels overcomes these obstacles smoothly, without jolts or bumps, providing a surprisingly comfortable experience at high speeds.
I would also like to mention the additional benefits of our ATV solution:
1. Lightness of the All-Terrain Vehicle. The weight is about 150 kg (an ATV or snowmobile weighs 350 kg). This affects both safety and ease of transportation (2 people can easily lift it).
2. Load distribution on 18 wheels gives phenomenal passability on plump snow, swamps, bogs, mire, and sand. At the same time without destroying the surface (the ATV leaves a large rut).
3. Reliability – This 18wheel All-Terrain Vehicle will continue to operate, even if one or two wheels (out of the remaining 18 wheels) fail. It will not even be noticeable it in its overall performance.
4. Absence of transmission (usually the most technically complex, heavy, and expensive unit in the vehicle), greatly reduces the cost of production, facilitates repair and maintenance, reduces weight, and, most importantly, makes the design much more reliable.
I also want to comment separately on some issues:
1. Why 18 wheels? - First, we determined the most suitable wheel diameter for our project, and then we calculated how many wheels can fit on the frame that would have the usual dimensions of an ATV or snowmobile - the optimal number was 18.
2. Why not use tracks? - Caterpillars violate our whole concept, as they greatly increase unsprung weight, reduce the efficiency of engines, and reduce speed. And with such a design as we have, they do not give any physical advantage.
3.In the last video the rover looks strange, clumsy, having a very "yawing" nose. - In the past video is the first prototype, built only to test the hypothesis and conduct several tests. In the new pre-production version, the suspension is radically redesigned. An All-Wheel steering system has been installed in addition to the "tank" turning system, making it extremely maneuverable.
Finally, I, together with all the members of my team would like to thank you once again for your attention and support. Subscribe to us on social networks, and we will try to post more information about the project. For now, I plan to make one new publication every Wednesday. Also, we are glad to receive your questions and suggestions, in the comments section below our videos. I will leave contacts for prompt communication with us, as well as a link to our social networks. Bye!

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