This Reinvented Wheel Allows Cars to Drive Sideways


A Canada-based inventor has developed a new product that could potentially make parallel parking a lot easier. As The Verge reports, William Liddiard’s omnidirectional wheel rotates sideways as well as front-to-back, granting the driver a wider range of mobility.

This is far from the first omnidirectional wheel concept, but it may be one of the more practical designs. Liddiard Wheels appear to be made from the same components as conventional car wheels: donut-shaped rubber tires wrapped around a metal hub. It’s only when the tires begin to roll sideways that the difference becomes obvious.

According to Liddiard, his model has an advantage over omnidirectional wheel designs of the past: it doesn’t require any extra modifications to install. Car owners can simply bolt them onto their vehicle (like the Toyota Echo in the video above) and start driving right away. The wheels are also equipped to handle various weather and road conditions, so you’ll be ready to hit the road from all directions rain or shine.

Liddiard’s invention is just a prototype for now, but he told the London Free Press earlier this year that he’s looking to sell the concept to a major tire or car company. Once the kinks are hammered out (right now the wheel requires an astounding 24,000 pounds of torque to rotate) it could have a huge impact. A video released by Goodyear in February illustrates how their similar 360-degree wheel concept might enable parking lots to fit more spaces into the same area of land. It would also make passing your driver's exam a breeze.

[h/t The Verge]

All images courtesy of William Liddiard via YouTube.

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