Tesla is looking into moving “current and future vehicle programs” to steer-by-wire with a new motor, geartrain, and chassis team in Austin, Texas.
Over the last few months, we have been reporting on how Tesla plans to establish new teams in Austin that are not directly related to the new Gigafactory under construction.
For example, we previously reported on Tesla building a new video game and user interface team in Austin.
Now, Electrek found out that Tesla is building a new team to design motors, geartrains, and chassis in Texas.
The automaker wrote in a new position for a Mechanical Design Engineer for Motors in Austin:
“Tesla is in need of mechanical engineers to design propulsion motors from concept to volume production.”
In another position for a Mechanical Design Engineer for Chassis, Tesla mentioned that it is especially looking for someone to work on “Steer-by-wire and Brake/motor Integration”:
“The engineer will engage in product development for current and future vehicles (specifically Steer-by-Wire and Brake/motor Integration), and provide a solid foundation for future vehicle engineering operations in Texas.”
A steer-by-wire system eliminates the use of mechanical linkages in a steering system, and instead, it only relies on electrical or electro-mechanical systems for steering.
It has potential to be more efficient and open up the vehicle’s cockpit to different designs.
However, many markets still require mechanical linkages in steering systems in order for a vehicle to be road legal.
Tesla, like many automakers, already implemented motors and actuators for drive controls in order to implement its Autopilot assisted driving features, but it still has a mechanical link to its steering system.
We also found several more positions for Tesla’s new motor, geartrain, and chassis team in Austin, Texas:
- Mechanical Design Engineer – Drive Systems
- Mechanical Design Engineer – Drive Unit Structures
- Mechanical Design Engineer – Motors
- Mechanical Design Engineer – Geartrain
- Mechanical Design Engineer – Chassis
Tesla already had drive unit teams in the Bay Area, Nevada, and in Greece, but it looks like the automaker is now looking to develop new motors in Austin as it taps into local talent.
This is an interesting development.
It would be a big deal for Tesla to lead the move to steer-by-wire, which is often linked to the advent of self-driving vehicles.
I assume that it would have to work with regulators to have it approved, but it wouldn’t be the first time that Tesla tries to implement a technology not yet approved at a regulatory level.
Back in 2013, Nissan tried to launch the first steer-by-wire in a production car, the Infiniti Q50, but it didn’t go smoothly and they ended up recalling the vehicles.
The fact that Tesla is building this new team in Texas might mean that Tesla might be looking to implement the system in the Cybertruck.
Also, we have seen Tesla patent a new efficient steering system last year.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
Author: Fred Lambert