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E-FAN was done as an entry into a competition sponsored by CarDesignNews (around 2007).
It looked like it would be an interesting and fun challenge - although any such contest aimed at
a target DECADES in the future is very problematic. Nonetheless, it gave me a chance, as a
recently retired designer, to try out some crazy ideas.
Unfortunately, these morons LOST my entry. When I inquired months later, they admitted it -
but obviously it was too late for serious consideration at that point.
Still, I had a lot of fun doing this work and it represents a fanciful and BS intensive thought
process. I hope it is at least amusing.
E-FAN - The folding fan is a highly symbolic icon in many cultures. Its light weight and elegant
operation make it an appropriate symbol for efficiency and grace. It provides the conceptual
and visual theme for the e-Fan City Car.
Front Entry - Perpendicular Parking - The vehicle has the door at its front and is designed
to park perpendicular to the curb, allowing direct access onto the sidewalk (or even to a secure
interior space if the building has an appropriate docking interface)
Variable Ratio Rear Wheel Steering for Ultra Maneuverable City Driving - A dramatically
tapered plan view and computer controlled drive-by-wire steering solve the historical problems of
rear steering, leaving only its incredible maneuverability
- e-Fan can manage a 17.4' (5305 mm) turn radius (comparable to a Scion xB) with no rear body
swing-out - and a minimum 9.875' (3010 mm) turn radius, advised by sonar sensors (providing
an audible warning tone) with a 272 mm rear body swing-out. There is no body swing-IN as with
Ultra Efficient Compact Package for Two - Minimal impact, minimal technology, minimal
eco-footprint - Maximum local content and assembly - minimal environmental and economic impact
Biologic (muscle) Power - Cloned animal muscle provides motive power using normal city
waste stream (sugars and fats) for "fuel". Working like pistons, muscle contraction is converted
to the mechanical rotation of a crankshaft.
- Muscle tissue is Lab grown onto ceramo-metallic substrates; high strength alloys and high
tech polymers replace bone and sinew.
- Waste products are primarily Uric acid, diverted to a holding bladder, and CO2
Safety (not shown) - External airbags are used to protect the vehicle and occupants in collisions,
compensating for the lack of internal crush distance in such a small package
- Demountable side glazing provides additional emergency egress if front door jambed
Nano Fans - Collapsible interior devices incorporating nano technology: SRS fans require robust
attachment to vehicle structure but imaging & acoustic fans could be stuck anywhere - or folded
and put away
- High strength carbon fabric SRS fans provide occupant restraint in accidents
- Imaging and Acoustic fans can be programmed for any imaging/speaker function, including
privacy screens, noise canceling, computer/internet, etc.
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