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The K-turn Mode Builds On Rivian’s Tank Turn Feature

Rivian R1T
Photo via Rivian

The GMC Hummer EV isn’t the only electric truck with party tricks. Rivian has filed a patent for a “K-turn” mode. The patent builds on existing, patented technologies that Rivian has already officially coined as “Tank Steer” and Tank Turn”. It’s evident that Rivan’s vehicles, namely the R1T and R1S, are more than capable of performing impressive driving maneuvers thanks to the four electric motors and advanced AWD system.

The finding was initially reported by,

Rivian Is Making Their Vehicles Fun

As noted, this isn’t the first time Rivian has introduced goodies for its electric truck and SUV models. Early this year MC&T covered the “drift mode” that the EV company decided was a necessity for its off-roading vehicles. Now we’re seeing the “more fun drives modes” present themselves fully. An even more notable feature is Rivian’s tank turn function, which allow the Rivan R1T and R1S to spin in a circle a full 360 degrees by shifting torque to the appropriate wheels. Because the maneuver requires that the tires don’t have full grip, it’s not really something that should be done on the blacktop. Watch it in action here on the official Rivian YouTube channel. 

How K-turn Mode Works

The new K-turn patent, which builds upon the torque-shifting technology used for tank turn, is used for separate driving applications. According to Rivian, the K-turn mode is engaged while the vehicle is driving. It happens when at least one of the front wheels turns past a certain steering threshold. While it’s not clear that the threshold angle has to be for this to happen, when it does, two things happen. Forward torque is sent to the front wheels while backward torque is sent to the rear wheels. When this happens, the rear wheels remain static to the ground and only the front wheels move, allowing the vehicle more room to turn. As notes, the K-turn mode is especially helpful to avoid digging ruts while off-roading as well as maneuvering in tight spaces.

We’ll be able to see this abundance of awesome EV tech in real-world applications soon enough as the Rivian R1T and R1S deliveries begin this month. Even though the K-turn tech is still in the development stage, customers will have no trouble taking their vehicles through extreme terrain. Customers probably won’t have to wait long either, as Rivian’s vehicle service is pretty much hands-off.

Rivian K-turn Patent Figures
Image via USPTO
Rivian R1S Rivian R1T
Photo via Rivian

Written by Liam White

Student of the car industry. Automotive Media Padawan.

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