Autonomous vehicle Motiv launched by Gordon Murray Design and UK consortium

Gordon Murray Design Motiv

Gordon Murray Design, Delta Motorsport and itMoves collaborate to produce ‘MOTIV’ autonomous vehicle platform, unveiled at MOVE 2020 show at ExCeL, London.

Part-funded through the UK-government’s ‘IDP14’ programme, the new platform breaks the mould for future mobility development by creating a cost-effective, ultra-lightweight quadricycle vehicle platform that is designed to meet full passenger-car crash safety requirements. Alongside its industry-leading safety credentials, the new fully-electric unit is targeting significant cost savings and improved refinement over its rivals, while delivering the range capabilities, platform flexibility and plug-and-play versatility required by autonomous customers with personal mobility or commercial delivery requirements.

Designed with autonomy in mind, MOTIV is a single-seater ‘pod’, which provides the versatility of either personal transportation or last-mile deliveries. Engineered using Gordon Murray Design’s iStream Superlight® technology, the vehicle’s single-seater layout provides a private mobility experience for people moving through busy cities, many of whom typically travel in larger combustion-engined vehicles with single occupancy. MOTIV has the potential to significantly reduce congestion and emissions in city centres due to its fully-electric powertrain and compact footprint.

The 1,628mm high pod measures just 2,537mm in length, with a width of 1,310mm.

Due to its compact footprint and layout, MOTIV offers greater flexibility than any of its rivals. To further increase its practicality, MOTIV can be adapted in the future to seat multiple occupants; for wheelchair use; or even for commercial deliveries. In its goods transportation form, the platform can be altered to enable maximum load capacity, creating a volume of more than 1,100 litres.

MOTIV is powered by a 20kW electric motor, and will be equipped with a 17.3kWh liquid-cooled battery pack providing a potential range of up to 100km. It will operate at speeds of up to 40mph (65km/h), making it ideal for operating in urban and suburban locations. It is equipped with CCS charging capability and can recharge from 20% to 80% battery in just 40 minutes.

MOTIV utilises Gordon Murray Design’s iStream Superlight technology, with ultra-lightweight high strength extruded aluminium in the chassis (iFrame®), composite panels and door (iPanel®), plus aluminium suspension (iLink®) to ensure that vehicle weight is kept to a minimum. Using this technology ensures the weight of the vehicle is kept below 450kg (excluding batteries), which reduces the amount of raw materials used in the manufacture of the platform when compared to conventional vehicle manufacturing techniques, it also significantly reduces the size of battery required without impacting vehicle range. Also, MOTIV features an eye-catching gull-wing door that provides unrivalled accessibility and weather protection for passengers or loading goods.

Electrification, hybridisation, and vehicle dynamics specialist Delta Motorsport is responsible for MOTIV’s power, motors and control systems. The platform uses Delta’s cutting-edge drive-by wire dedicated vehicle control architecture that operates the steering, propulsion and braking. The electrical integration expertise provided by Delta Motorsport utilises a ‘plug-and-play’ high-voltage system that significantly reduces cost, alongside production and assembly times. The braking and steering systems are also small and lightweight for minimal intrusion into cabin space.

Advanced mobility and innovation specialist itMoves was responsible for the vision behind MOTIV, including the vehicle concept, strategy usability and visual image. The design of the vehicle is contemporary, while also remaining compact and city friendly. The interior of the vehicle provides an easy-to-access, comfortable space with an integrated HVAC system and room to perch a laptop.

Homologating MOTIV as a quadricycle has various benefits for OEMs and MaaS providers. Firstly, it is lightweight. A quadricycle must weigh less than 450kg, this means that it is nimble and compact, which makes it a viable option for busy city streets. Gordon Murray Design has engineered MOTIV to conform to European passenger car (M1) crash safety standards, making it the first quadricycle to incorporate passenger car safety levels. This achievement is made possible by the high-strength properties of its iStream Superlight structure. Another benefit is that, as a quadricycle, it is simpler to produce than a car. The less complex production process cuts per-unit build time and reduces waiting times for OEMs and MaaS providers looking to enter the market.

As a development test bed for autonomous systems, MOTIV’s autonomous-ready design is far easier for companies to convert than a conventional vehicle. Typically, a conversion of a regular vehicle to become autonomous requires more hardware, more time and has obvious compromises – conventional vehicles are comparatively large, cumbersome and inefficient.

As MOTIV was purpose-built as a platform for autonomy, testing of its driverless capabilities can begin from launch, which gives it the potential to be the first fully-autonomous single seater pod available on the market.

As a small footprint single seat vehicle, MOTIV offers a unique private solution in the market. A recent Transport for London survey showed that the rate of single occupancy within traditional cars and vans in London is on average greater than 60%. Across the UK, this number is as high as 80% for local journeys. European occupancy rates show a similar trend with an average of 1.1 – 1.2 people per vehicle.

Gordon Murray Automotive – MOTIV – Technical specification

Acceleration  top speed

0-62kph                       7.5 seconds

Max speed                  40mph (65kph)


Length                         2,537mm

Width                           1,310mm

Height                          1,628mm

Weight                         450kg (without battery)

Chassis  Body

iStream Superlight structure

Designed in accordance with European M1 crash regulations Rear wheel drive layout

Single gull-wing door – for easy ‘walk in’ entry

Contactless door opening system    


L7e Quadricycle crash tested to M1 car standard

Single seat configuration

Autonomous ready

Powertrain  Battery

Range                         100km (WLTP)

Run time                     2.5 hour continuous

Motor                           20kW motor

Nominal voltage          361V

Max torque                  48.4Nm

Battery location           Under floor

Battery capacity          17.3kWh (total); 13.8KWh (usable)

Battery cooling            Liquid cooled battery, motor and power electronics

Charging type             CCS

Fast charge time         40 minutes (20% – 80%)


Configuration              Single speed transmission


Front                            MacPherson Strut front suspension system

Rear                            Rear iLink suspension system


Type                            Steering by wire

Wheels and tyres

Wheel size                  13-inch


Front                            Disc brakes

Rear                            Regenerative braking

Safety                         Anti-lock braking system


Air conditioning           Integrated AC system

Internal display            24-inch display with vertical lift

Source: Gordon Murray Design

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