Omni-directional tyres could be the next big thing
When one thinks of a traditional tyre, we're used to the idea of it rolling on its circumference, effectively giving it a single direction of travel. While this works well when driving the car down roads, they do pose a problem when trying to park or other situations involving a stationary car. Since the steering mechanism is present on the front tyres, the rear end behaves like a pivot, resulting in cumbersome parking manoeuvres to slot the car into a narrow gap. Along with going through the nerve-wracking ordeal, the driver also gets the complimentary frustration after getting out and realising that the car isn't within the lines.
To tackle this ever-present issue, Canadian inventor William Liddiard has come to the rescue of stranded parallel parkers by creating omni-capable wheels called "Liddiard Wheels". Fitted on his unassuming Toyota Echo, the tyres are able to roll perpendicular to the conventional direction of travel, akin to caterpillar tracks. Special wheels that house the yet undisclosed mechanism for the tyres are very prominent, resembling solid steelies with petaled edges.
By controlling the direction of roll, the car is able to either wade sideways like a crab or rotate on the spot, making everyday parking a hassle-free ordeal. In his YouTube video, Liddiard says that the tyres were put together with whatever spare materials he had lying around and then he decided to bolt them onto his own car for the demonstration. Speaking of which, Liddiard claims that the tyres are universal and can be equipped on car without having to be built around them. They also happen to have the same build as conventional tyres and can survive all-road and weather conditions.
What is yet to be seen, however, is whether the tyres hold up to the constant deformation over a long period of time, as rubber has a tendency to crack under fatigue. Liddiard is currently looking for prospective companies to buy and apply his technology. Take a look at the video below to see the tyres in action.
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