Engineers are the unsung heroes behind wonders of modern civilization, with key roles in design, creation and innovation of technologies that shape our world. They are architects of progress pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
As we posted earlier, uSky Test & Certification Centre is currently performing commissioning procedures for the 25-seat uBus Carat, which are series of checks, tests and adjustments carried out to ensure correct operation and optimal configuration of equipment or systems after they are installed, assembled and serviced. Such measures are designed to ensure safe and efficient operation of our self-driving steel-wheel electric vehicle and to prevent possible malfunctions.
To carry out commissioning work, uSky Transport team has invited experienced transport industry engineers, and we spoke to one of them.
Good afternoon, Ivan. Tell us what you do as a member of our project?
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Ivan Ramanenka, and I am the head of the Layout design bureau.
Within the project, my main task is to carry out commissioning of the uBus Carat electric vehicle. This includes performing high-speed runs, testing electric drive, performing traction runs on a 5-degree slope, high-speed and dynamic runs along the entire Test Track 4 track structure, as well as debugging the electric vehicle control software.
What is the Layout design bureau, what job does it do?
The Layout design bureau is a key link between the designer general and associated departments which develop systems and components of our electric vehicles. Engineers of the Layout design bureau are the main designers of vehicle, following through all stages of its cycle: from technical specifications to producing the product and obtaining a certificate.
The Customer, in our case it’s Designer General Dr. Anatoli Unitsky, gives basic requirements, what kind of transport needs to be developed, what technical features should be implemented and, based on that, we begin formulating terms of reference for that electric vehicle and creating vehicle configuration: traction and dynamics calculation of vehicle, selection of main units of electric drive (electric motor, battery, inverter), layout of passenger cabin, layout of main systems, units and components throughout the entire volume of vehicle, calculation of preliminary weight and overall dimensions. Simultaneously with colleagues from design engineering bureau, we work on vehicle design project. After developing configuration and design project, we present the pre-drafting part to Designer General. After getting all the reviews and clarifications approved by the Customer, we move on to the stage of preliminary development of electric vehicle, where leading specialists from design bureaus of Chassis, Body, Electrical Equipment, and Functional System Analysis become more involved for a more detailed study of their system or unit.
At each project (draft, design study, or working) of vehicle development, as well as at manufacturing and testing, the chief designer of vehicle is the link between all departments, possesses all information related to electric vehicle, makes key decisions and finds a compromise in cases of disagreements.
You actually make vehicle designs from scratch?
Yes, we can create transport personally for each customer: based on his requirements and wishes. Development of electric vehicle takes place in 3Dexperience. In there, everything is drawn, down to each screw and cable, best location of units is analyzed, and design is optimized for metal consumption. We also try to use tried and true solutions from successfully operating electric vehicles. And those are uCar, uBus and uCont prototypes.
What is your part to play as a leader?
The main thing is to create a friendly and warm environment in my team. There is no general without soldiers. As a manager, I must understand the priority of one or the other project, where to throw the main forces, what was needed yesterday, and what can wait so as not to be spread thin. Therefore, it is very important to plan work, set feasible and understandable assignments for specific employees, taking into account their experience and interest. If difficulties come up, then it’s imperative to solve them or find another way.
I also try not to get involved only with administrative issues and thus I have stayed in charge of such projects as uCar U4-430, uCont U4-192-21, tropical uCar U4-431-01. At any moment I must be ready to back up a colleague in case of their absence.
What is the mission of the Layout bureau?
Our mission is to create an automatic unmanned electric vehicle that will be environmentally safe for people and the planet, satisfying needs of the customer and consumers.
What are your tasks as your part of work at uSky Transport?
Here, I am with rolling stock control systems, I also manage and support commissioning work of uBus Carat. If questions come up about mechanical parts of vehicle, about systems and components, or of an organizational nature, I try to quickly resolve them so that the vehicle keeps rolling.
Since uBus Carat is a completely new electric vehicle, never used anywhere, what difficulties do you see in work?
As you correctly noted, the uBus Carat electric car has never driven on a string overpass after the car’s production. And all possible inaccuracies in design and manufacturing come up in battle, that is, right after it starts moving. And you must be able to figure out any problem that arises during operation of this vehicle. But with online support of my professional colleagues, and with available instructions, recommendations, drawings, any questions and problems are resolved promptly. I should also proudly note that I am a prominent representative of engineering school of Dr. Anatoli Unitsky, which he has been building for over 40 years.
What is your most significant achievement so far?
My most significant and proud achievement in the company is successful implementation of the idea by Dr. Anatoli Unitsky on development and building of a tropical uCar. This electric vehicle has been successfully operated at uSky Test & Certification Centre in Sharjah since 2019 and still amazes our guests. The uCar project also helped develop the concept of Test Track 1’s track structure.
What part of commissioning has already been done and what is yet to be expected?
Completed to date:
testing of total track structure with passage of vehicles with a total weight of those up to 11,500 kg;
high-speed runs with gradual speed increase up to 40 kph;
testing of electric drive during dynamic runs along the full track structure of Test Track 4;
traction runs up a 5-degree slope;
testing emergency and extreme braking of electric vehicle;
vehicle tow practicing;
electric vehicle control software has been adjusted to match the required tasks;
establishing standard communications along all of Test Track 4.
The next step is to commission automatic control of electric vehicle from control room and conduct vehicle testing in concert with Test Track 4.
How do you see the advance of uSky Transport & Infrastructure Technology over the next few years?
Development of uSky Transport & Infrastructure Technology is progressing exponentially and I am confident it will continue at the same pace. In future, this will evolve to building and developing linear cities, with integrated uSky Transport & Infrastructure Solutions. The world will become more environmentally friendly and safe, and resounding success awaits us all.