Home / Car Stuff / Nissan X-Trail E-4ORCE Moon Trail Project With JAXA


Nissan and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have been using Nissan’s e-4ORCE technology to control their protoype lunar rover’s driving force.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd unveiled a lunar rover prototype that they jointly developed with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at the Nissan Futures event in Japan in December 2021. Nissan and JAXA have been working together since January 2020 on driving controllability for their lunar rovers.

A rover has to be able to travel across the moon’s powdery, rocky and undulating terrain while remaining energy-efficient, since energy sources for operating vehicles in space are limited. Through their research, Nissan have applied their motor control technology that they developed for their mass-market electric vehicles such as the Leaf as well as the e-4ORCE technology on their Arya electric crossover.

JAXA Director of the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center, Ikkoh Funaki, said “JAXA aims to apply the research results to future space exploration. We are collaborating with companies, universities and research institutes on projects that are feasible and have potential for commercialization and innovation. By conducting research with Nissan, which has expertise in electrified technologies, we hope to apply our findings to the development of higher-performance lunar rovers.”

Nissan’s e-4ORCE technology controls the front and rear motors down to 1/10,000th of a second as well as left and right braking, enabling precise corner speed and reduced steering corrections even on rough terrains. The e-4ORCE technology in particular has boosted the lunar rover’s performance, allowing it to drive easily in extreme conditions, such as the rugged, volcanic landscape of Miyakejima, a Japanese volcanic island, where the basaltic sand is similiar to the moon’s regolith.

Toshiyuki Nakajima, general manager of the Advanced Vehicle Engineering Department in charge of e-4ORCE control development at Nissan, said “The uses of automobiles and driving situations are wide-ranging. We aim for the ultimate driving performance through our research and development, and believe the know-how gained from this joint research with JAXA will lead to innovations in our vehicles that will bring benefits to customers.”

Story: Alshin Thomas

Also read: Hyundai Verna First Drive Review — Verna Revitalised


About the author: Alshin Thomas



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