Whether it’s by the use of tiny car-lifting robots or totally spherical wheels, the idea of a car that can move effortlessly sidewise is an endlessly appealing one. Parallel parking becomes a dream, parking garage management becomes a piece of cake. And out of all the ways to make that dream come true, these “Liddiard Wheels” seem like a pretty compelling one.
Designed by one William Liddiard, the wheels are similar to the kind of “omni wheels” you’ll find on some robots and heavy machinery. The difference with these is that they are on an actual car, they have one continuous surface, and they’re a bolt-on modification. According to Liddiard, they can be slapped on any car.
All that said, they are just prototypes, and Liddiard is hoping to team up with a partner for help bringing them to market.
Of course any system like this is going to make everything around the wheels and tires much more complicated than it already is, as well require users to use non-standard tires. The ability to move sideways—cool as it is—might not be worth the trouble, especially with the self-driving car future seemingly on the horizon.
At the very least it is one cool party trick, and I’d love to test drive a car that can do it.
Source: William Liddiard via Gizmodo