Tomorrow's Car - For Today's People: Can Tilting Three Wheeled Vehicles be a Solution for the Problems of Today and the Future?

Paper #:
  • 2011-28-0001

  • 2011-10-06
Will, F., Davdison, J., Couchman, P., and Bednall, D., "Tomorrow's Car - For Today's People: Can Tilting Three Wheeled Vehicles be a Solution for the Problems of Today and the Future?," SAE Technical Paper 2011-28-0001, 2011,
The current automotive industry and todays car drivers are faced with every increasing challenges, not previously experienced. Climate Change, financial issues, rising fuel prices, increased traffic congestion and reduced parking space in cities are all leading to changes in consumer preferences and the requirements of modern passenger vehicles.However, despite the shift in the industry dynamics, the principal layout of a car hasn't changed since its invention. The design of a ‘conventional’ vehicle is still principally a matchbox with four wheels, one at each corner. The concept has served its purpose well for over 100 years, but such a layout is not suited to solving today's problems.To address the range of problems faced by the industry, a number of alternative commuting vehicles have been developed. Yet the commercialization of these ‘alternative’ vehicles has yet to be successful. This is largely due failure of these vehicles to meet the changing demands of the industry and the limited understanding of consumer behaviour, motivation and attitudes.Deakin University's Tomorrow's Car concept tackles all of these problems. The vehicle is a novel three-wheeler cross over concept between a car and a motorbike that combines the best of both worlds. The vehicle combines the low cost, small size and ‘fun’ factor of a motorbike together with the safety, comfort and easy to drive features of a car produce a vehicle with a fuel efficiency better than either car or scooter.Intensive market research has been conducted for various major potential markets of alternative vehicles including India, China and Australia. The research analysed consumer attitudes in relation to narrow tilting vehicles, and in particular towards Deakin's Tomorrow's Car (TC). The study revealed that a relatively large percentage of consumers find such a concept very appealing. For the other consumers, the overall appearance and perception of safety and not the actual safety performance were found to be the most impeding factors of such vehicles. By addressing these issues and marketing the vehicle accordingly the successful commercialization of Tomorrow's Car can be ensured,
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