Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 


Woodpecker is modular and multifunctional low cost electrical LSV (low speed vehicle) platform for urban micromobility

Photo of Richard Gailums
4 2

Written by

Woodpecker is modular and multifunctional electrical vehicle platform with low production and TCO- Total Costs of Ownership for urban logistics and micromobility.

Woodpecker is opensource, smart low-emission mobility solution that enable operational productivity, and well-being in future cities.

Woodpecker’s “skateboard” compact and modular frame in combination with ecological wooden frame creates innovative concept for future development of transportation.

In partnership with your city we are going to deliver POC (proof of concept) of unmanned electric LSV (low speed vehicle) platform for urban logistics and micromobility.

Vehicle  is intended to be used in 3 modes – manual, teleoperation and autonomous (virtual rail).

Operator by teleoperation is driving the vehicle from point to point or to the dedicated virtual rail path, where platform can move fully autonomously.

Platform is built on skateboard compact and modular frame concept and is fully drive by wire controlled by initial design. Flatbed platform with universal fix points allow to interchange different bodies. Pixdrive drive by wire controller developed by Pilot is providing API for drive controller Pixtrail and management software Pixsight. Connectivity provided through dedicated Wi-Fi network of 4/5G network.

Existing Problem.

Passenger vehicles for urban logistics are inefficient and expensive.

Operating crew is not motivated by low salaries, companies struggling to maintain highly skilled workforce and safety requirements.

Vehicles are expensive to repair and maintain, diversity of manufacturers and brands increase difficulty.

Altogether it creates high TCO – total cost of ownership for urban logistics.

We are going to eliminate workforce costs and add safety to operations through vehicle automatic or remote operation. We are going to introduce easy to repair, modules based electric platforms with interchangeable bodies to efficiently maintain fleet of vehicles.

Competitiveness factors.

Efficiency and know-how from different market verticals, experience, lean startup approach.

Open source type of Woodpecker allow us to test technical solutions on wider community, as well as test and design most cost-effective modules for electric vehicle.

1) unique design concept for low cost manufacturing and maintenance;

2) know-how of electrical vehicle drive by wire conversions;

3) in-house developed drive controllers and remote teleoperation.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Autonomous / semi-autonomous LSV platform could be used for passenger/cargo transportation in last-mile or 25 mph zones.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We have been tested different parts and modules for solutions with commercial customers. Technical test results are positive, business model is not proved yet.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

PILOT Automotive Labs is tech startup founded in 2016 in IoT accelerator program in Singapore. We are developing autonomous vehicle and drive by wire technologies . As part of automotive market relationship we had graduated Infiniti Accelerator in Hong Kong and Jaguar Land Rover accelerator in Portland, OR. Our biggest customers and partners are Intel Labs in US, and Urban Mobility in Hong Kong. Our specialty is conversation of aftermarket vehicles to autonomous vehicles.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Vehicle design, customization $45k One month on site tests $10k Travel, logistics and accommodation $20k

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

What we are going to achieve from POC: - To Build fully working prototype - custom built platform with custom passenger/cargo body modules, Drive by wire controls, drive controller, sensor set, teleoperation. - To Test for a month in real environment manual drive, teleoperation, virtual rail - autonomous.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Number of successful rides. Calculated real TCO - total cost of ownership for vehicle and service. Number of positive feedbacks from users / customers.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

In partnership with transportation department, company real use cases should be determined, calculation made and business model developed. One option - to produce, sell and buy ready vehicles, sign maintenance contract for operation. Second option - MaS - Mobility as service.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Elizabeth Durden

Hello Richard, this is a great idea. How much would it cost to build a plain electric woodpecker? I like the truck look.

Photo of Richard Gailums

Thank you! There are 2 stages of this project -1.stage- individual builds from drawings and already built prototype examples and parts. 2. stage - small batch production of all wooden components and pre-selected, manufactured components. We are now in stage 1, where all expenses are 50-70% higher then in stage 2. So, now costs of platform itself consist from frame materials and electronic components, motors, batteries, suspension etc. Frame itself is around $500 - 700, together with essential parts and entry level motors, batteries total price should start from $3-5k. Adding sensors, chargers and electronic components might go up to $7-8k. Body modules are separate costs - mostly material +work. The truck cabin and flatbed modules cost around $800 in materials + couple days of work, so total costs might be between $1-2k. More advanced cabin or cargo module, with windshield seat belts and accessories might go up $1-2k more. Custom module builds, like passenger capsule version will be more expensive because it should be designed first. Hope this helps!

Photo of Elizabeth Durden

I saw that. I went back and reread your idea. It gives me a wonderful flashback. I really like it. Thank you!

View all comments