Small is the new big. The Mini, the Fit, the ForTwo, the Peapod… it seems like cutting edge cars keeps getting smaller.
So it’s a perfect time for 22-year old designer Shao Yung Yeh’s single passenger, insect-inspired vehicle. The suspension is based on insect legs that can raise and lower depending upon traffic and road conditions. And instead of a central drivetrain, the car is powered by an electric motor at each wheel, while the battery pack sits in the car’s abdomen and is able to move fore and aft to adjust the car’s center of gravity.
Yeh told Wired.com, “(Insects) not only inspire the styling but also the entire structure and the package of the car.”
This may signify the beginning of a shift in the whole automotive design world. For years, cars were modeled after big mammals, slung on their wheels like stalking cats. But the shapes based on animal shoulders and aerodynamic hawks may give way to beetle shells and grasshopper legs. New technologies can make those shapes workable. Instead of a steel inner frame like a skeleton, new materials can allow a rigid “exoskeleton”, among other things.
With those mew materials, it’s also easier to make small cars more efficiently. So instead of driving around in a full-sized car fit for 4-5 passengers, commuters can opt for a car fit for one, which is all they really need. Let’s hope some auto company has the vision to make something based on this design.
(via Wired Autopia)