Rivian’s K-Turn Patent and What it Means

Rivian has just become the first automaker to make a production electric pickup truck with the Rivian R1T, but that’s not the only cool thing about Rivian. Not only does it have some impressive specs, but it also has features like a mini-kitchen and, eventually, Tank Turn capability. That being said, Rivian isn’t done innovating, and it recently patented a feature called the K-Turn. 

A look at Rivian’s innovative nature

A silver Rivian R1T sitting on a white pad indoors.
Rivian R1T | Getty Images

Although both Rivian and Tesla are EV automakers, Rivian is different from Tesla in many ways. For example, Rivian is doing a lot of things that Tesla isn’t doing so far. One of Rivian’s innovative ideas has to do with how many electric motors an EV has. The most electric motors that a Tesla can come with are currently three, and that’s for the upcoming Cybertruck. The Rivian R1T has four. 

Not only does that bring more power and torque to the Rivian, but it also allows the R1T to have Tank Turn capability. Since an electric motor powers each wheel, the R1T can turn two wheels in a different direction than the other two. These innovations help make Rivian an appealing choice for customers, but ultimately, Rivian has the same goal as Tesla. Rivian wants a carbon-neutral world, and its EVs are a step in that direction.

Rivian’s new K-Turn patent

Another innovation that Rivian’s made is called K-Turn mode, according to MotorTrend. As its name implies, the mode should be helpful for drivers who need to make a k-turn, which is also known as a three-point turn. What K-Turn mode does is tighten up the Rivian’s turning radius so it could make “impossible turns possible.” 

This is all possible thanks to the fact that the Rivian has four electric motors. In more technical terms, MotorTrend said that the K-Turn mode works by doing two things simultaneously. The front electric motors will provide forward torque to the front wheels, while the rear electric motors will provide backward torque to the rear wheels. 

At the same time, the rear wheels will remain “in static contact with [the] ground,” according to MotorTrend, while the front wheels will slip in relation to the ground. That may ultimately allow folks to do some tight turns that otherwise would require reversing. It’s not entirely clear how drivers would activate K-turn mode, and it’s also unclear how it would look. However, it definitely would be a new feature that’ll separate Rivian from the pack.

Other cool features on the Rivian R1T

Currently, K-Turn mode is just a patent, and it’s also not clear when Rivian owners will be able to use it in their cars. Regardless, the R1T has plenty of other cool features that owners can use right now. For example, the R1T is a truly spacious truck, and it has a lot of cargo options. Its 4.5-footbed will be where most folks will put their stuff. However, since it’s an electric truck, Rivian has more space to work with than before.

That’s precisely why the R1T also has a frunk and a cargo area that’s underneath the truck bed. Furthermore, it has something that Rivian’s calling the Gear Tunnel. It’s located behind the rear seats and a sizable tunnel that folks can store gear in. Additionally, the Gear Tunnel can be replaced by a mini-kitchen if folks want to pay a premium for it, that is. This mini-kitchen can be an excellent feature for both camping trips and tailgate parties. 

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