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US EV maker Rivian filed a patent for K-turn mode in driving assistance system

US electric vehicles maker, Rivian recently filed a patent for its driving assistance system to have K-turn mode. The K-turn mode allows the car to rotate in place as the torque in the wheel shifts. It can’t be used on smooth surfaces as the wheel digs into the ground rather than turning it. And the patent was initially spotted by a Rivian owners forum user.

Rivian Wants to Eliminate Annoying K-Turns

Image credits- MotorTrend

The design comes out to improve manoeuvrability without the wheels sinking into the ground and making turns. As per the patent, “The K-turn mode is engaged in response to determining that an amount that at least one of the front wheels of the vehicle is turned exceeds a turn threshold. While operating in the K-turn mode, forward torque is provided to the front wheels of the vehicle. Further, backward torque is provided to the rear wheels of the vehicle. Yet further, the rear wheels of the vehicle remain substantially in static contact with the ground while the front wheels slip about the ground.”

The k-mode

Image credits- Rivian Owners Forum

So far, Riviab discussed its tank turn mode, but not the k-turn. The tank turn allows the Rivian R1t to turn on its own length. High-end electric trucks need improved manoeuvrability.


Image credits- Rivian Owners Forum

As shown in the image, the wheel can be kept static with k-turn-mode by anchoring from the rear wheel on the EV. Then the torque of the front wheel can turn the vehicle. Such anchoring avoids digging of the ground and allows smooth turning. As the electric pickup is to be made suitable for both tough terrains and city roads, smooth on-spot turning adds an advantage to Rivian R1t.

The patent pictures suggest that the driver must activate the “turn threshold” to make the k-turn mode. It turns the vehicle wheel beyond the lock. Though this is not expected to come with its upcoming R1t deliveries, the technology will be developed and implemented in later versions.

Rivian tank turn

Both R1t and R1S SUV have tank-turn options. Tank turn allows the vehicle to turn in circles on the spot. An unskilled tanker could lose control. However, the feature is spectacular. There is also an additional tank steer option. However, there are not many details on it. Rivian is making compelling vehicles with advanced off-road capabilities. Furthermore, the initial deliveries include tank turn, but not the k-turn-mode as the patent was filed only recently.

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