This guy designed car tires that roll in any direction

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,080   +131
Staff member

Autonomous driving aids have made parallel parking much less of a hassle… that is, if you have a newer car equipped with the proper technology. If you’re rocking an older ride, you still need to master the technique yourself or follow in the footsteps of YouTube user William Liddiard and outfit your car with omnidirectional wheels.

In the video’s description, Liddiard said he had to use the materials he had on hand (aka, lots of improvisation) and work on it sparingly when he could find the time. The system supplies 24,000 pounds of torque directly to the wheels and although it is a proof-of-concept prototype, Liddiard said the wheels are designed to be used in all weather and road conditions.

Back in March, Goodyear unveiled a set of spherical, levitating concept tires that essentially do the same thing albeit on a much more polished and advanced scale.

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VitalyT

Posts: 5,497   +5,098
Back in March, Goodyear unveiled a set of spherical, levitating concept tires that essentially do the same thing albeit on a much more polished and advanced scale.

That technology is far from polished, and very questionable in fact.

As for this experiment, it won't take off. The time it would take to make it production-ready, all new cars will have autonomous parking. And we do not even see how drivable the car is on those tires. Probably not very well.
 

IAMTHESTIG

Posts: 1,868   +900
Cool idea... it works. I wont about the durability of those tires for use in regular road conditions. There is no tread though. It appears there is a pretty small contact patch on the road so I don't imagine grip would be sufficient to meet government requirements for stopping distances. Maybe if you added four more for a total of eight wheels. Anyway pretty awesome. This would be good for golf carts, riding lawn mowers, forklifts, etc...
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,696   +6,055
No tread equals "hydroplane here we come". I watched the whole video to see if he would put the car on the road. I'm not so certain he can even get the car up to speed much less worry about water in the road.
 

rvnwlfdroid

Posts: 193   +49
It may not be the most practical item when it comes to the tread but I say anytime someone makes a working prototype of an idea they had kudos to them. With the exception of a prototype that would rip the world apart. Keep that one as an idea only please.
 

lipe123

Posts: 972   +560
The video is also sped up a bunch and even with that its slow as cold molasses.

It looks weird and cool but not sure how practical it is. The constant rolling of the rubber is going to make it heat up/wear out really fast.
 

fimbles

Posts: 1,194   +208
Had this technology on forklifts for quite a few years now, Got to say its pretty reliable, Different wheel design though and slow as hell. Google airtrax, They went bust I think.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,577   +628
Back in March, Goodyear unveiled a set of spherical, levitating concept tires that essentially do the same thing albeit on a much more polished and advanced scale.

That technology is far from polished, and very questionable in fact.

As for this experiment, it won't take off. The time it would take to make it production-ready, all new cars will have autonomous parking. And we do not even see how drivable the car is on those tires. Probably not very well.

Haha, I had the same thought. The engineer in me kicked in. So, you're driving down the road normally, then turn the wheel hard to avoid an obstacle. Wouldn't those rolling tubes being used for wheels just spin laterally and severely flatten out your swerve angle? I'd think it would be close to the feeling you get when you are at speed on gravel or snow/ice and crank the wheel hard, but just keep going straight...

At low speeds, though... I think it could be very useful for certain applications.
 

risc32

Posts: 209   +96
Cool, but I see no real use for it. On cars anyway. How about some tread? how is the wheel balancing supposed to be handled?
 

namesrejected

Posts: 398   +302
I want to see what happens when a dog catches that tire.

Its neat, but the maintenance would be a killer. It would be more practical to make a vehicle steer the rear wheels too. a 3 way switch, 1 position would make the rear wheels lock straight, another position would mirror the front wheels, and the 3rd would mimic the front wheels. They make equipment like this already. You just don't see it on road vehicles because there just isn't the demand to justify the added cost and maintenance.