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Product Tank Car

05.05.13. I began designing a car because every Sunday for years my grandfather would come to our house for lunch and I’d watch him struggle to get out of his car, he had bad hips and knees - his dancing days were over.  I began looking at car design and how much their design could be improved for older people and hopefully everyone else as well.

To test my design ideas, I designed and built a 1/3 scale model that you see in the images.  The concept vehicle is a low cost, practical, 2 person electric city car designed to be easy to park and get in and out of, with features to help loading and unloading goods from shopping trolleys etc and also stop your shopping rolling around in the rear of the car when you go around corners and it becomes loose.   I have also added wing mirrors designed to tilt to help see the kerb when you are reversing and windscreen wipers that clear more window area to (hopefully) get rid of more surface water.

As a design concept, I should have gone for wing mirrors that are cameras, a windscreen with lotus leaf technology that negates the need for windscreen wipers, computer self-drive, non-puncture tyres and all the other bells and whistles.  But, I have carefully considered only including things if they can be bettered and also their cost, because this design is intended to be as practical and affordable as possible.  Yes camera wing mirrors are cool, but more expensive and at greater risk of developing a fault.  Sometimes the cheap, tried and tested approach is still the best.  I have also decided to stay with traditional buttons and dials in the interior as there is a trend to design in touch screens, but when driving, having to navigate through a selection menu on a reflective screen just to set the heating, seems far less accurate, more distracting and therefore more dangerous that simply twisting a nice fat dial.

At the time of writing, one company is advertising a vehicle that’s major USP is being able to open the rear door when your hands are full of shopping bags by standing on one leg and wiggling your foot at a motion sensor under the tail gate.  As my grandfather was still perfectly able to drive, but standing on one leg was out of the question, I can imagine what he would have said about that (his response would have been unprintable!).

Please watch the video for best explanation:



Update 28.05.13: Having released the Product Tank concept car design on various sites, feedback was that the angles at the front and rear of the car looked dangerous if there was a collision with a member of the public.  So, with a few revisions, I have looked at softening areas of the design concept whilst still keeping the essence of the original car design.