Meet FLIP – SberAutoTech’s first fully autonomous vehicle

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Moscow-based SberAutoTech, a subsidiary of Sberbank, has revealed ‘FLIP’ – an all-electric, autonomous vehicle prototype for future mobility services. The fully self-driving vehicle has been developed to match the highest level (L5) in international driving automation classification.

The prototype features a proprietary electric platform driven by an electric motor powered by a replaceable battery module that supports the swapping of batteries in five minutes. FLIP is also designed to be compatible with alternative fuel sources such as natural gas and hydrogen, as required. Its electric ‘platform’ design ensures maximum flexibility, allowing for a variety of vehicle bodies – passenger, truck or hybrid.

Measuring just 3.62 x 1.95m, FLIP is still able to offer 40% more interior space than a similar-size conventional passenger car, as it has no internal combustion engine to house. Designed to be fully autonomous, it has no traditional control panels and can carry up to six passengers.

FLIP has been designed for a range of new mobility services, including robotaxi ride hailing, via a user app. Trip safety and customization can be supported via face recognition and user-friendly communication with a virtual assistant named Salute. Infotainment for FLIP passengers will include music (via SberSound) and video (via Okko) streaming. SberAutoTech says FLIP has the potential to reduce congestion, solve the last-mile problem and deliver new levels of comfort that can’t be achieved by public transport.

Autonomous capability

SberAutoTech’s self-driving technology uses a combination of lidars, radars and cameras to evaluate the road environment. FLIP supports both V2V and V2X, so it is ready to interact with other FLIPs and the road infrastructure.

Current bench testing of FLIP prototypes is taking place on closed tracks in accordance with current Russian legislation on self-driving vehicles. A public presentation of FLIP is scheduled to take place during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 2-5, 2021.

“FLIP’s electric platform removes all limitations resulting from the layouts of conventional vehicles. Combined with the flexible architecture of SberAutoTech’s self-driving technology, it will enable us to roll out solutions across a variety of verticals, like freight transport, last mile and taxis,” said David Rafalovsky, CTO, Sberbank Group and executive VP, head of technology, Sberbank.

“These technologies are the future, and we are proud that the evolution of this track is possible thanks to the synergy achieved within the ecosystem and thanks to SberAutoTech engineering solutions.”

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Autonomous Vehicle International), Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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