You normally don’t hear the name “Siemens” in the same sentence as “automotive innovation”, but you’re hearing that today. Siemens VDO has developed what they call the “eCorner”. This is the “convergence of several technologies into the wheel and hub assembly,” but the most notable piece is the integration of an electric motor right into the wheel hub.
This should prove useful in hybrid systems, as the electric motor gives an extra “boost” of power, where you need it, when you need it. Other technological goodies that you’ll find within the “eCorner” are an active suspension system and an electronic wedge brake (EWB) brake-by-wire system. And you can be sure you’ve got all four wheels facing the right way, thanks to the steer-by-wire system.
The resulting automotive dynamics should prove interesting, as the angle of each wheel and the amount of power applied is continually varied to adjust to current road conditions. Now we just need to see this technology implemented in a real car.