Footage of the jaw-dropping feature was posted Wednesday on Twitter and shows Rivian’s R1T truck driving into an empty field, coming to a full stop and then spinning perfectly in place before cooly driving off out of the camera’s frame.
— Rivian (@Rivian) December 25, 2019
Amy Mast, a spokesperson for Rivian, explained to Business Insider that the vehicle is able to execute the 360-degree turn because each of the wheels is fitted with its own independent drive motor.
"The vehicle's four motors independently control torque at each wheel, allowing torque to be applied in opposite directions on each side of the vehicle," Mast said, noting that the car analyzes the amount of friction between the tires and the surface beneath them in order to allow for a “controlled rotation.”
The feature that allows the vehicle to complete the spin is known as the Quad Motor Tank Turn, and will also be included on the R1S, Rivian’s SUV.
— Rivian (@Rivian) February 7, 2019
Although neither Rivian’s truck nor SUV will go into production until late 2020, online digging by The Drive has revealed that the R1T truck is being used in a motorcycling documentary starring actor Ewan McGregor and documentarian Charley Boormon.
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Rivian officials have already listed the prices for the R1T and R1S at $69,000 and $72,500, respectively. Should all go according to schedule, Rivian’s vehicles will be made available to the public months ahead of Tesla’s Cybertruck, which isn’t expected to hit sales floors until late 2021.