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Tag: park a car

Never worry about finding a parking spot again; park in extremely small spaces thanks to this new hydraulic automobile lifting system!

Background:

In many cities, there are a large number of “almost-a-parking-spot” locations (for example, between two driveways) that can only fit an extremely small car.

Additionally, most popular models of small cars have gotten substantially larger over time.

For example, a 1959 Mini Cooper is 120 inches long, while a 2005 model is 143 inches long (~2 feet longer). A 1966 Toyota Corolla is 152 inches long, while a 2015 Corolla is 182 inches long (2.5 feet longer).

The issue:

These longer cars no longer fit in many small parking spaces (Figure 1).

1-parking-problem-car-does-not-fit

Fig. 1: This is an example of a spot that is almost a parking space. With some creative car redesign, we can still make it work, however!

Proposal:

Since parking spots rarely have a height maximum, there are a number of ways we could re-orient a car to fit it into a parking spot without crushing the car into a cube.

A hydraulic system could be added to a car to allow it to lift itself up in such a way that it now fits in one of these small spots (Figure 2).

2-liftable-car

Fig. 2: Left: the car has been modified with (A) a “foot” that can support the weight of the car, (B) an extendable rear axle that can move the rear wheels forward and down, and (C) an additional telescoping element to push the car up in the first place (and let it down gently). This telescoping element has a small roller on the bottom, rather than a full wheel. Right: the system after deployment.

Now, when a small parking space is found, the driver can line their car up with the back of the spot, get out of the car, and then engage “car lifting” mode to re-orient the car into a vertical orientation that reduces the car’s required horizontal space by approximately 40%.

Conclusion:

This would be a great selling point for people who live in cities with the combination of poor public transportation and poor parking options. Major car manufacturers should start redesigning their cars today.

PROS: Allows a car to fit into a number of previously-un-usable parking spots.

CONS: Cars are generally engineered with the assumption that gravity will always point directly down, so it’s possible that some elements of the car would need to be redesigned. Also, the driver should be sure not to leave any drinks in their cupholders before they engage this system.

All your parking woes solved with this one weird tip, which also adds a (possibly unintentional) crumple zone to your car, perhaps increasing its safety in a crash

Background:

Parking is a problem in many large cities, and extremely small cars are manufactured specifically to allow drivers to pick smaller parking spots.

The issue:

If a person buys a large car, they may be unable to park it. But if that person buys a small car, it may be insufficient for their people-and-goods-transporting needs. A conundrum!

The proposal:

Instead of having to choose between two car sizes, this proposal is for a “best of both worlds” car with a collapsable back seat. See figures 1 and 2, below, for extensive technical schematics.

car-diagram-long-small-filesize

Fig 1: A diagram of the car. Unfortunately, there is little room to remove in the green region (engine) or blue region (trunk / rear  window / rear wheel attachment area). So we will instead focus on compressing the back seats (yellow) and front seats (orange).

car-diagram-short-small-filesize

Fig 2: The same car, in its compressed “small parking spot” mode. The yellow back seat region has compressed to almost nothing, while the orange front seats have collapsed very slightly, leaving just enough room for the driver to still maneuver the vehicle.

Conclusion:

Although there would be certain technical challenges in making an accordion-like vehicle that could still pass highway safety regulations, this would be an worthy project for any automotive engineer.

PROS: Combines the transport flexibility of a larger vehicle with the parking convenience of a small one. If any patents with this idea were filed by the creators of the Inspector Gadget cartoon, they will have already expired at this point.

CONS: Be careful not to put the car into “small parking spot mode” when passengers are still in the back seat.