The future role of the car is considered to be for urban travel, and a possible specification for such a car is presented. Details are suggested for its size, performance, exhaust pollution, collision damage and energy conversion efficiency. These requirements point to the need for an electric power unit or use of an internal combustion engine fuel not producing noxious exhaust gases. Four-wheel steering would increase manoeuvrability. The replacement of the conventional wheel by a 'conformable wheel' is suggested for overcoming suspension problems associated with use of electric traction motors. The new-type wheel is designed to deform in a controlled manner to achieve traction and steering by changing the shape of the periphery. It has a central hub, a flexible non-elastic outer rim or tyres of constant length, and a number of spring-loaded telescopic forks of which the length can be increased or shortened by, for example, electricity. Alternatively, the wheel may be driven in conventional manner by providing a torque around the axle. The geometry of a loaded 'conformable' wheel developing traction on a horizontal plane is illustrated. A method is suggested for changing spoke length and therefore providing propulsion by electricity, and the advantages of this novel wheel are presented. (TRRL)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Institution of Electrical Engineers

    Savoy Place
    London WC2R 0BL, NY  England  10016-5997
  • Authors:
    • Jones, S
  • Publication Date: 1979-11

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00310154
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 9 1980 12:00AM