QinetiQ has received $2.7 million in funds from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to continue work on the company's electric hub-drive technology.
The technology will form part of an electric propulsion system to replace gearboxes, differentials and drive shafts with electric motors contained within the wheels, QinetiQ said Tuesday.
QinetiQ was among the eight organizations DARPA selected in April for the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program develop an armored ground vehicle that can contain extra armor but also maintain both mobility and speed.
“Conventional drive systems are heavy, place constraints on the use of space, and consist of components that can turn into lethal projectiles in the event of an explosion beneath the vehicle,“ said David Moore, director of research services at QinetiQ.
“Moving the drive system to within the wheels removes this threat and disrupts the trend of vehicles becoming heavier and less mobile due to increasing protection and weaponry,“ added Moore.
QinetiQ will use the additional funds to test the system and produce two operational units.