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Title:
SUSPENSION SYSTEM AND STEERING CAPABILITIES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/212987
Kind Code:
A9
Abstract:
Some embodiments may provide a suspension unit that may include a rail having a longitudinal axis, a sliding member slidably connected to the rail, and shock absorption and springing means adapted to damp motions and support forces along the longitudinal axis of the rail, wherein, the rail and the sliding member are shaped to have transverse cross-sectional profiles that prevent a rotational movement of the sliding member with respect to the rail about the longitudinal axis of the rail. In some embodiments, the suspension unit may be part of an in-wheel system further including at least a steering unit.

Inventors:
SARDES AHISHAY (IL)
DEKEL RAN (IL)
AKNIN AMIT (IL)
SEGEV TOMER (IL)
STARIK ERAN (IL)
HERMANN DAN (IL)
AVIGUR EYLON (IL)
Application Number:
IL2020/050446
Publication Date:
December 10, 2020
Filing Date:
April 16, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
REE AUTOMOTIVE LTD (IL)
International Classes:
B60G3/01; B60G13/16; B62D5/04; B62D7/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARKAI, Yosi et al. (IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A sliding pillar suspension unit, comprising:

a rail having a longitudinal axis;

a sliding member slidably connected to the rail; and

shock absorption and springing means adapted to damp motions and support forces along the longitudinal axis of the rail;

wherein, the rail and the sliding member are shaped to have transverse cross-sectional profiles that prevent a rotational movement of the sliding member with respect to the rail about the longitudinal axis of the rail.

2. The suspension unit of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the transverse cross-sectional profiles of the rail and the sliding member is a polygonal.

3. The suspension system of any one of claims 1-2, wherein at least a portion of the transverse cross-sectional profiles of the rail and the sliding member is asymmetric about longitudinal axes thereof.

4. The suspension unit of any one of claims 1-3, comprising roller bearings disposed within cavities on at least some of inner lateral surfaces of the sliding member.

5. The suspension unit of claim 4, comprising bearing adjusting pins adapted to be screwed into the cavities, wherein a shape and a measure of screwing of the bearing adjusting pins into the cavities dictate at least one of a position and an alignment of the roller bearings within the cavities.

6. The suspension unit of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the shock absorption and springing means comprise a spring-loaded shock absorber.

7. The suspension of claim 6, wherein the spring-loaded shock absorber is disposed within the rail. 38. The system of any one of claims 16-37, comprising a braking unit, the braking unit comprises a brake actuator connected to the wheel interface.

39. The system of claim 38, wherein the braking unit comprises a brake fluid reservoir in fluid communication with the brake actuator, the brake fluid reservoir is connected to the sliding member of the suspension unit.

40. The system of any one of claims 38-39, wherein the braking unit is a brake -by-wire unit.

41. The system of any one of claims 38-40, wherein the braking unit comprises a controller configured to control the braking of the wheel interface by the brake actuator.

42. The system of any one of claims 16-41, comprising a traction unit, the traction unit comprises:

a traction motor; and

a shaft adapted to transmit rotations from the traction motor to a wheel hub rotatably supported by the wheel interface.

43. The system of claim 42, wherein the traction motor is connected to the suspension unit.

44. The system of 42, wherein the traction motor is connected to the wheel interface.

45. The system of claim 16-44, wherein at least a portion of the transverse cross-sectional profiles of the rail and the sliding member is at least one of: a polygonal and asymmetric about longitudinal axes thereof.

46. The system of any one of claims 16-45, comprising:

roller bearings disposed within cavities on at least some of inner lateral surfaces of the sliding member; and

bearing adjusting pins adapted to be screwed into the cavities, wherein a shape and a measure of screwing of the bearing adjusting pins into the cavities dictate at least one of a position and an alignment of the roller bearings within the cavities. 47. The system of any one of claims 16-46, wherein:

the shock absorption and springing means comprise a spring-loaded shock absorber disposed within the rail; and

the spring-loaded shock absorber is connected at its first end to the rail and connected at its second to the sliding member using one or more pins adapted to slide within corresponding one or more slots on one or more lateral surfaces of the rail.

48. The system of any one of claims 16-47, wherein the longitudinal axis of the rail is curved and the sliding member is adapted to slide on the rail along the curved longitudinal axis.

49. The system of any one of claims 16-48, wherein at least a portion of at least one of the rail and the sliding member are adapted to be disposed within a rim of a wheel when a wheel is assembled into the suspension unit.

50. The system of any one of claims 16-48, wherein the rail and the sliding member are adapted to be disposed external to a rim of a wheel and adjacent thereto when a wheel is assembled into the suspension unit.

Description:
SUSPENSION SYSTEM AND STEERING CAPABILITIES

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of suspension systems, and more particularly, to suspension systems having a sliding member.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Early vehicles, for example those from the beginning of the 20 th century, incorporated suspension systems of “sliding pillar” or of “sliding axle” type. These suspension systems typically included a damper unit that was adapted to slide on a circular slider and utilized a frictional bushing(s) for enabling the sliding thereof. In these vehicles, a steering axis (e.g., an axis about which the wheel may turn to steer the vehicle) typically was aligned with an axis of the damper unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Some embodiments of the present invention may provide a sliding pillar suspension unit, the suspension unit may include: a rail having a longitudinal axis; a sliding member slidably connected to the rail; and shock absorption and springing means adapted to damp motions and support forces along the longitudinal axis of the rail; wherein, the rail and the sliding member are shaped to have transverse cross-sectional profiles that prevent a rotational movement of the sliding member with respect to the rail about the longitudinal axis of the rail.

[0004] In some embodiments, at least a portion of the transverse cross-sectional profiles of the rail and the sliding member is a polygonal.

[0005] In some embodiments, at least a portion of the transverse cross-sectional profiles of the rail and the sliding member is asymmetric about longitudinal axes thereof.

[0006] In some embodiments, the suspension unit may include roller bearings disposed within cavities on at least some of inner lateral surfaces of the sliding member.

[0007] In some embodiments, the suspension unit may include bearing adjusting pins adapted to be screwed into the cavities, wherein a shape and a measure of screwing of the bearing adjusting pins into the cavities dictate at least one of a position and an alignment of the roller bearings within the cavities. [0031] In some embodiments, the steering unit may include a frameless motor connected to the suspension unit and the wheel interface and adapted to rotate the wheel interface with respect to the suspension unit about the steering axis.

[0032] In some embodiments, the frameless motor may include: a stator connected to the suspension unit and the wheel interface; and a rotor adapted to rotate the stator.

[0033] In some embodiments, a rotation axis of the rotor coincides with the steering axis.

[0034] In some embodiments, the firameless motor is connected to the rail of the suspension unit.

[0035] In some embodiments, the firameless motor is connected to the sliding member of the suspension unit.

[0036] In some embodiments, the steering unit may include at least one pair of arms, each pair may include a first arm and a second arm pivotally connected at their first ends to the wheel interface and pivotally connected at their second ends to the suspension unit.

[0037] In some embodiments, the first arm and the second arm are pivotally connected to the rail of the suspension system.

[0038] In some embodiments, the first arm and the second arm are pivotally connected to the sliding member of the suspension system.

[0039] In some embodiments, the first arm and the second arm are set across each other and define a dynamic steering axis at a virtual intersection therebetween such that the dynamic steering axis may move with respect to the suspension unit when the wheel interface changes its steering angle relative the suspension unit.

[0040] In some embodiments, the system may include a braking unit, the braking unit may include a brake actuator connected to the wheel interface.

[0041] In some embodiments, the braking unit may include a brake fluid reservoir in fluid communication with the brake actuator, the brake fluid reservoir is connected to the sliding member of the suspension unit.

[0042] In some embodiments, the braking unit is a brake -by-wire unit.

[0043] In some embodiments, the braking unit may include a controller configured to control the braking of the wheel interface by the brake actuator.

[0044] In some embodiments, the system may include a traction unit, the traction unit may include: a traction motor; and a shaft adapted to transmit rotations from the traction motor to a wheel hub rotatably supported by the wheel interface. [0045] In some embodiments, the traction motor is connected to the suspension unit.

[0046] In some embodiments, the traction motor is connected to the wheel interface.

[0047] In some embodiments, at least a portion of the transverse cross-sectional profiles of the rail and the sliding member is at least one of: a polygonal and asymmetric about longitudinal axes thereof.

[0048] In some embodiments, the suspension unit may include roller bearings disposed within cavities on at least some of inner lateral surfaces of the sliding member; and bearing adjusting pins adapted to be screwed into the cavities, wherein a shape and a measure of screwing of the bearing adjusting pins into the cavities dictate at least one of a position and an alignment of the roller bearings within the cavities.

[0049] In some embodiments, the shock absorption and springing means may include a spring- loaded shock absorber disposed within the rail; and the spring-loaded shock absorber is connected at its first end to the rail and connected at its second to the sliding member using one or more pins adapted to slide within corresponding one or more slots on one or more lateral surfaces of the rail.

[0050] In some embodiments, the longitudinal axis of the rail is curved and the sliding member is adapted to slide on the rail along the curved longitudinal axis.

[0051] In some embodiments, at least a portion of at least one of the rail and the sliding member are adapted to be disposed within a rim of a wheel when a wheel is assembled into the suspension unit.

[0052] In some embodiments, the rail and the sliding member are adapted to be disposed external to a rim of a wheel and adjacent thereto when a wheel is assembled into the suspension unit.

[0053] These, additional, and/or other aspects and/or advantages of the present invention are set forth in the detailed description which follows; possibly inferable from the detailed description; and/or leamable by practice of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0054] For a better understanding of embodiments of the invention and to show how the same can be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purely by way of example, to the interface 102.Connection of rail 114 to wheel 90 (e.g., which is an un-sprung mass) and of sliding member 112 to reference frame 80 of the vehicle (e.g., which is a sprung mass) may enable to maximize a travel of sliding member 112 along rail 114. For example, in embodiments of Figs. 1A and IB, sliding member 112 may potentially slide along an entire length of rail 1 14. In this manner, suspension unit 110 may, for example, enable to minimize forces transferred to reference frame 80 of the vehicle and to maximize a comfort of the passengers in the vehicle.

[0082] Rail 114 and/or sliding member 112 may be shaped to prevent a rotational movement of sliding member 112 about a longitudinal axis 111 of suspension unit 110. For example, transverse cross-sectional profile of rail 1 14 and sliding 112 may have a general polygonal shape (e.g., square, hexagonal, pentagonal, etc.). The shape of the transverse cross-sectional profile of sliding element 112 and of rail 114 may be selected to, for example, withstand the specified regime of forces expected to be applied onto suspension unit 110.

[0083] In some embodiments, transverse cross-sectional profile of at least one of rail 114 and sliding 112 may have a general oblique shape. This may, for example, prevent a rotational movement of sliding member 112 about a longitudinal axis 111 of suspension unit 110.

[0084] In various embodiments, one or more protmding surfaces may be shaped, or added, at one or more of outside surface of rail 114 facing sliding member 112 and/or at one or more of inside surfaces of sliding member 112 facing rail 114. This may, for example, prevent a rotational movement of sliding member 112 about a longitudinal axis 111 of suspension unit 110.

[0085] Suspension unit 110 may include a shock absorption means 116 and springing means 118 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 1C). Shock absorption means 116 may, for example, include a telescopic shock absorber (e.g., damper). Springing means 118 may, for example, include a spring.

[0086] In some embodiments, shock absorption means 116 and springing means 118 may be mounted within rail 1 14 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 1C). Shock absorption means 116 may be connected to sliding member 112 and to rail 1 14 while enabling sliding of sliding member 112 on rail 114. Shock absorption means 116 may be adapted to damp and absorb shocks and motions resulting from, for example, bumps or potholes in the road, e.g., by means of converting the relative movement of sliding member 112 with respect to rail 114 into energy that is dampened and/or absorbed/dissipated in the damping means. of wheel hub 104/wheel interface 102. For example, the distance between reference frame 80 and wheel hub 104/wheel interface 102 may be smaller than 70% (e.g., smaller than 70%, 30%, etc.) of a maximal substantially vertical linear movement of wheel hub 104/wheel interface 102.

[0093] In some embodiments, a maximal substantially vertical length of suspension unit 110 may be smaller than a maximal distance between reference frame 80 and wheel hub 104/wheel interface 102. In some embodiments, a maximal substantially vertical length of suspension unit 110 may be smaller than the diameter of the rim of the wheel.

[0094] It is to be noted that the dimensions thereof may be larger or smaller and may depend on the dimensions of the rim and/or required range of substantially vertical linear movement of wheel hub 104/wheel interface 102.

[0095] Reference is now made to Figs. 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D, which are schematic illustrations of an embodiment of a suspension unit 210, according to some embodiments of the invention.

[0096] Figs. 2A, 2B and 2D show different perspective views of suspension unit 210 and Fig. 2C shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of suspension unit 210. Suspension unit 210 may be similar to suspension unit 110 described above with respect to Figs. 1 A, IB and 1C.

[0097] According to some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may include a sliding member 212 and a rail 214. For example, sliding member 212 and rail 214 may be such as sliding member 112 and rail 114, respectively, as described above with respect to Figs. 1 A and IB.

[0098] In some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may be adapted to be connected to reference frame 80 such that a longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210 is perpendicular (or substantially perpendicular) to the ground surface/ the road. A longitudinal axis of rail 214 may coincide with longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210. In some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may be adapted to be connected to reference frame 80 such that longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210 is parallel (or substantially parallel) to a wheel rotation plane in which wheel 90 may rotate when assembled into suspension unit 210. For example, the wheel rotation plane may be defined by a wheel interface of a suspension system.

[0099] Suspension unit 210 may be adapted to withstand a specified regime of forces that are expected to be applied onto suspension unit 210. Such forces may, for example, include lateral forces, e.g., forces in directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210. In some embodiments, a shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 212 and of rail 214 of suspension unit 210 may be selected to withstand the specified regime of forces. In general, the transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 212 and of rail 214 may have any polygonal shape. The shape of the transverse cross-sectional profile of sliding element 212 and of rail 214 may be selected to, for example, withstand the specified regime of forces expected to be applied onto suspension system 200/suspension unit 210.

[00100] For example, sliding element 212 and rail 214 may have hexagonal or pentagonal shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles to withstand forces from various directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210 (e.g., as shown in Figs. 2A and 2B) or rotational forces acting about longitudinal axis of the suspension unit 210, while enabling free sliding of sliding element 212 along rail 214.

[00101] In another example, sliding element 212 and rail 214 may have square shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles to withstand forces from main directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 211 (e.g., applied from a front-rear direction and a side-side direction of the vehicle).

[00102] In some embodiments, the shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 212 and rail 214 may be asymmetric about longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210 to withstand forces from various directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 211, according to the predetermined specifications.

[00103] In some embodiments, the shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 212 and rail 214 may be selected to prevent a rotation of sliding element 212 and of rail 214 with respect to each other about longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit 210.

[00104] According to some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may include a shock absorption means 216 and a springing means 218. For example, shock absorption means 216 and springing means 218 may be such as shock absorption means 116 and springing means 118, respectively, described above with respect to Figs. 1A and IB.

[00105] In some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may include a telescopic damper (e.g., shock absorption means 216) loaded with a spring (e.g., springing means 218) - e.g. as shown in Fig. 2C. Shock absorption means 216 may be connected at its first end 216a to sliding member 212 and at its second end 216b to rail 214. In some embodiments, shock absorption means 216 may be connected to sliding member 212 by one or more pins 217 that may be adapted to slide within corresponding one or more slots 214a in corresponding one or more lateral surfaces of rail 214 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 2C). [00106] In some embodiments, slot(s) 214a and pin(s) 217 may be sealed by, for example, flexible sleeve. The sealing thereof may, for example, prevent an ingress of dust and/or other contaminants into rail 214.

[00107] In some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may include roller bearings 213 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 2D). Roller bearings 213 may be located between sliding member 212 and rail 214 of suspension unit 210. Roller bearings 213 may enable rolling / relative linear motion of sliding member 212 on rail 214.

[00108] In some embodiments, sliding member 212 may include one or more cavities 212a on at least some of inner lateral surfaces thereof (e.g., as shown in Fig. 2D). Each of cavity(s) 212a may be adapted to accommodate one of roller bearings 213.

[00109] In some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may include bearing adjusting pins 219. Bearing adjusting pins 219 may be adapted to be screwed into cavities 212a that may accommodate roller bearings 213. The shape of bearing adjusting pins 219 and/or the measure of screwing of bearing adjusting pins 219 into cavities 212a may be adapted to dictate the position/alignment of roller bearings 213 within cavities 212a of sliding member 212 with respect to the rail. In this manner, the preload of each of roller bearings 213 may be adjusted during the installation of suspension unit 210 and/or fabrication misalignments of suspension unit 210 may be compensated.

[00110] In various embodiments, at least one of: the shape of the transverse cross-sectional profile of suspension unit 210, the material of suspension unit 210, type and/or number and/or location of bearings 213 within suspension unit 210 may be selected to withstand the specified regime of forces expected to be applied onto suspension unit 210.

[00111] In various embodiments, suspension unit 210 may be installed with a zero-camber angle or with a predetermined camber angle that is not zero. In some embodiments, suspension unit 210 may be installed with a dynamic camber angle capability.

[00112] In some embodiments, sliding member 212 may act as a sub-frame for connecting suspension unit 210 to reference frame 80. In some embodiments, coupling of the sub-frame (e.g., sliding member 212) to reference frame 80 may be by 4 or less fasteners (e.g., bolts, pins, latches, etc.).

[00113] In some embodiments, a steering axis of a wheel may be defined away of longitudinal axis 211 of suspension unit (e.g., being an axis of movement of sliding element 212 with respect [00144] Figs. 4B, 4C and 4E show different perspective views of suspension unit 410 and Fig. 4D shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of suspension unit 410.

[00145] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may include a sliding member 412 and a rail 414. For example, sliding member 412 and rail 414 may be such as sliding member 312 and rail 314, respectively, as described above with respect to Figs. 3A, 3B and 3C.

[00146] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may be adapted to be connected to reference frame 80 such that a longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410 is perpendicular (or substantially perpendicular) to the ground surface/ the road. A longitudinal axis of rail 414 may coincide with longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410. In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may be adapted to be connected to reference frame 80 such that longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410 is perpendicular (or substantially perpendicular) to a wheel/wheel hub rotation axis (e.g., axis 425 described hereinbelow) about which wheel 90 may rotate when wheel 90 is assembled into in-wheel system 400.

[00147] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may be adapted to withstand a specified regime of forces that are expected to be applied onto suspension system 400/suspension unit 410. Such forces may, for example, include lateral forces, e.g. forces in directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410.

[00148] In some embodiments, a shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 412 and of rail 414 of suspension unit 410 may be selected to withstand the specified regime of forces. In general, the transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 412 and of rail 414 may have any polygonal shape. The shape of the transverse cross-sectional profile of sliding element 412 and of rail 414 may be selected to, for example, withstand the specified regime of forces expected to be applied onto suspension system 400/suspension unit 410.

[00149] For example, sliding element 412 and rail 414 may have hexagonal or pentagonal shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles to withstand forces from various directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410 (e.g., as shown in Figs. 4B and 4C) or rotational forces acting about longitudinal axis of the suspension unit 410, while enabling free sliding of sliding element 412 along rail 414.

[00150] In another example, sliding element 412 and rail 414 may have square shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles to withstand forces from main directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 411 (e.g., applied from a front-rear direction and a side-side direction of the vehicle).

[00151] In some embodiments, the shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 412 and rail 414 may be asymmetric about longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410 to withstand forces from various directions that are perpendicular to longitudinal axis 411, according to the predetermined specifications.

[00152] In some embodiments, the shape of transverse cross-sectional profiles of sliding element 412 and rail 414 may be selected to prevent a rotation of sliding element 412 and of rail 414 with respect to each other about longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit 410.

[00153] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may include a shock absorption means 416 and a springing means 418. For example, shock absorption means 416 and springing means 418 may be such as shock absorption means 316 and springing means 318, respectively, described above with respect to Figs. 3A, 3B and 3C.

[00154] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may include a telescopic damper (e.g., shock absorption means 416) loaded with a spring (e.g., springing means 418) - e.g., as shown in Fig. 4D. Shock absorption means 416 may be connected at its first end 416a to sliding member 412 and at its second end 416b to rail 414. In some embodiments, shock absorption means 416 may be connected to sliding member 412 by one or more pins 417 that may be adapted to slide within corresponding one or more slots 414a in corresponding one or more lateral surfaces of rail 414 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 4D).

[00155] In some embodiments, slot(s) 414a and pin(s) 417 may be sealed by, for example, flexible sleeve. The sealing thereof may, for example, prevent an ingress of dust and/or other con tarn in ants into rail 414.

[00156] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may include roller bearings 413 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 4E). Roller bearings 413 may be located between sliding member 413 and rail 414 of suspension unit 410. Roller bearings 413 may enable rolling / relative linear motion of sliding member 412 on rail 414.

[00157] In some embodiments, sliding member 412 may include one or more cavities 414a on at least some of inner lateral surfaces thereof (e.g., as shown in Fig. 4E). Each of cavity(s) 414a may be adapted to accommodate one of roller bearings 413. [00158] In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may include bearing adjusting pins 419. Bearing adjusting pins 419 may be adapted to be screwed into cavities 414a that may accommodate roller bearings 413. The shape of bearing adjusting pins 419 and/or the measure of screwing of bearing adjusting pins 419 into cavities 414a may be adapted to dictate the position/alignment of roller bearings 413 within cavities 414a of sliding member 412 with respect to the rail. In this manner, the preload of each of roller bearings 413 may be adjusted during the installation of suspension unit 410 and/or fabrication misalignments of suspension unit 410 may be compensated.

[00159] In various embodiments, at least one of: the shape of the transverse cross-sectional profile of suspension unit 410, the material of suspension unit 410, type and/or number and/or location of bearings 413 within suspension unit 410 may be selected to withstand the specified regime of forces expected to be applied onto suspension system 400/suspension unit 410.

[00160] In various embodiments, suspension unit 410 may be installed with a zero-camber angle or with a predetermined camber angle that is not zero. In some embodiments, suspension unit 410 may be installed with a dynamic camber angle capability.

[00161] In some embodiments, sliding member 412 may act as a sub-frame for connecting suspension system 400 to reference frame 80. In some embodiments, the sub-frame (e.g., sliding member 412) may be coupled to reference frame 80 by four (4) or less fasteners (e.g., bolts, pins, latches).

[00162] In some embodiments, a steering axis (e.g., steering axis 423 described below) of a wheel may be defined away of longitudinal axis 411 of suspension unit (e.g., being an axis of movement of sliding element 412 with respect to rail 414). For example, a steering axis that is away of longitudinal axis 411 may require a steering unit (e.g., steering unit 420 described below), e.g., other than suspension unit 410. In some embodiments, a wheel assembled into suspension unit 410 may be not steerable (e.g., without a need in a steering unit).

[00163] Reference is now made to Figs. 4F, 4G and 4H, which are schematic illustrations of a steering unit 420 for a second embodiment of an in-wheel system 400 with suspension and steering capabilities, according to some embodiments of the invention.

[00164] Figs. 4F and 4G show different perspective views and Fig. 4H shows a longitudinal cross-sectional view of steering unit 420. [00193] Fig. 5E shows transverse cross-sectional views of system 400 and right wheel 90 of the vehicle. Illustration 500g and 500h show left turn and right turn of system 400 and wheel 90, respectively.

[00194] Fig. 5F shows a side view of system 400 and wheel 90.

[00195] In some embodiments, suspension system 400 may be designed such that most of the system is adapted to be located within rim 92 of wheel 90.

[00196] For example, steering unit 420, at least a portion of suspension unit 410 and most elements of steering mechanism 430 may be adapted to be located within rim 92 of wheel 90, while only some portion of suspension unit 410 and steering motor 432 of steering mechanism 430 may be located external and adjacent to rim 92. For example, 90%-100% of a volume of steering unit 420 and/or 70%-100% of a volume of steering mechanism 430 may be locate within rim 92 of wheel 90.

[00197] In some embodiments, suspension system 400 may include a braking unit 440 (e.g., as shown in Fig. 5F). In some embodiments, braking unit 440 may be brake -by-wire unit (e.g., capable of being controlled by electronical means).

[00198] In some embodiments, braking unit 440 may include a brake actuator. The brake actuator may be coupled to, for example, wheel interface 424. In some embodiments, braking unit 440 may include one or more additional brake modules. The additional brake module(s) may, for example, include a brake controller and/or brake fluid reservoir. The brake fluid reservoir may be, for example, coupled to an outer surface of sliding member 412 of suspension unit 410. For example, at least one outer surface of sliding member 412 may be flat and configured to enable connection of, for example, the brake fluid reservoir thereto.

[00199] Advantageously, adapting the entire steering unit 420 and most of steering mechanism 430 to be located within rim 92 of wheel 90 may enable to significantly reduce the space occupied by the system as compared to current suspension and steering systems used nowadays in most of vehicles and thus may, for example, allow to significantly reduce the size of the passengers’ compartment of the vehicle.

[00200] Furthermore, connecting rail 414 to wheel 90 (e.g., which is an un-sprung mass) and sliding element 412 to reference frame 80 of the vehicle (e.g., which is a spmng mass) may enable to maximize a travel of sliding member 412 along rail 414 and thereby, for example, to minimize forces transferred to reference frame 80 of the vehicle and to maximize a comfort of the passengers in the vehicle (e.g., as described above with respect to Figs. 5A, 5B and 5C and Figs. 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E). Limiting the protmsion of suspension unit 410 from rim 92 of wheel may yet allow to keep suspension system 400 compact (as compared to current suspension and steering systems).

[00201] Furthermore, separating steering unit 420 from suspension unit 410 may allow to provide a wide range of possible inclinations of steering axis 423 (defined by pivoting members 422 of steering unit 420) with respect to a vertical axis of wheel 90 and/or allow to adjust the inclinations thereof according to predetermined specifications (e.g., scrub radius, caster angle, camber angle, etc.) - e.g., as described above with respect to Figs. 4F, 4G and 4H.

[00202] Furthermore, suspension unit 410 of suspension system 400 may withstand higher lateral forces as compared to current suspension units, for example due to specific shapes of transverse cross-sectional profiles thereof (e.g., as described above with respect to Figs. 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E).

[00203] Furthermore, some embodiments of suspensions system 400 may take advantages of drive -by-wire technology (e.g., steer-by-wire steering mechanism 430 as described above with respect to Figs. 41, 4J, 4K, 4L, 4M and brake -by-wire braking unit 440 as described above with respect to Fig. 5F)

[00204] Reference is now made to Figs. 6A, 6B and 6C, which are schematic illustrations of embodiments of in-wheel system 600 lwith suspension and steering capabilities and of a wheel 90 assembled into in-wheel system 600, according to some embodiments of the invention.

[00205] In-wheel system 600 may include a suspension unit 610. Suspension unit 610 may be similar to suspension unit 110, 210, 310 and 410 described hereinabove. In some embodiments, suspension unit 610 may include a sliding member 612, a rail 614 and a shock absorption and springing means. For example, the shock absorption and springing means may be disposed in rail 614 (e.g., as described hereinabove).

[00206] In some embodiments, suspension unit 610 may be adapted to be connected to reference frame 80 such that longitudinal axis 611 of suspension unit 610 is perpendicular (or substantially perpendicular) to the ground surface/road on which the wheel may turn (e.g., such that longitudinal axis 611 is parallel or substantially parallel to the vertical axis of the vehicle). A longitudinal axis of rail 614 may coincide with longitudinal axis 611 of suspension unit 610. In some embodiments, suspension unit 610 may be adapted to be connected to reference frame 80