Ready to go for a spin in an electric car that’s designed to be out of this world? NASA’s Modular Robotic Vehicle is probably unlike any other EV you’ve seen before. Not only does this two-seater feature self-driving technology, and incredible handling, it can actually drive sideways.
Those are just a few of the features that make the new MRV a prospective mode of transport for the cities of the future and even the surface of Mars and more.
Fluid Motion And Dynamic Capabilities
Resembling a boxy beach buggy, the MRV is remarkably agile. It’s able to navigate around obstacles and enter tight spaces thanks to its uniquely dynamic wheel modules, which are liquid cooled and able to turn 180 degrees. The ride itself feels friction free and yet tightly controlled. The vehicle’s computer controls everything through a drive-by-wire system, which allows for completely fluid propulsion, steering and braking.
A Few Limitations
While you won’t be able to do much speeding in the MRV, as this prototype tops at about 15 mph with potential to reach 40, the vehicle has been described as a “blast” to drive. A single battery charge will take you 62 miles, which you can travel using a steering wheel, joystick, remote control or autonomously.
Likened to an amusement park ride, the vehicle isn’t quite ready for today’s roads, or perhaps, today’s roads aren’t quite ready for a vehicle like this.
The Car Of Future Cities And Space Exploration?
Speed and range limitations aside, the MRV’s compact size and maneuverability are part of what makes it solid contender for the car of future metropolises, where tight navigation and parking can be completed with exceptional ease. The technology itself, which is based on NASA’s exploratory robotic systems and rovers, is also likely to have a future beyond Earth’s cities and terrain.
The MRV’s agility could also be advantageous for manned missions to Mars and the Moon, and even on asteroids.
Are you eager to see what the MRV will be able to do as NASA advances its prototype? What ideas do you have for a vehicle meant to travel on surfaces other than the Earth’s? Give us your input in the comments.