It seems that someone has finally given due attention to the troubles of millions of motorists who have a rather unpleasant time when it some to parking their cars in narrow gaps.
William Liddiard, a Canadian inventor, has developed what he calls “Liddiard Wheels” that behave not only like traditional tyres, but are also capable of rolling perpendicular to the conventional direction of travel, akin to caterpillar tracks. This effectively means that if you have your car outfitted with a set of these ‘Liddiard Wheels’ you will be able to park your car into those narrow gaps without any trouble at all.
According to Liddiard, his ‘omni-directional’ tyre project didn’t involve state-of-the-art equipment but rather involves all the spare materials he had lying around. Once the tyres were done, he went ahead and fit them onto his own ‘Toyota Echo’ for the demonstration. These tyres are universal for they can be bolted onto any car and that the car doesn’t have to be built around it specifically. What’s more, they also happen to have the same build as conventional tyres and can survive all-road and weather conditions.
The proof-of-concept is amazing as you can see in the video embedded below. It remains to be seen how these tyres can survive long drives and prolonged use, for rubber tends to crack under fatigue and the way these tyres move, the rubber would be under immense stress and this could require some serious testing before they are commercially usable.
“No CGI here. I did not want the tires to move too fast at road speeds so I used a high gear ratio. The incredible torque directly on the tires is much more than needed. I now know I should have used a lower gear ratio. Faster speeds are definitely possible. Now ANYTHING with wheels can be omni capable (not just cars)”, Liddiard notes in the description of the YouTube video.