Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Prototype for innovative one-metre wide vehicle is developed

The prototype of a revolutionary new type of vehicle only one metre wide specially designed for cities has been developed by a team of European scientists. The vehicle combines the safety of a micro-car and the manoeuvrability of a motorbike, while being more fuel-efficient and less polluting than other vehicles.

The CLEVER (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport) vehicle is a £1.5 million collaborative project which has involved nine European partners from industry and research, including the University of Bath.

The three-year international project has produced a tilting three-wheeled vehicle that is fully enclosed and has seats for the driver and a passenger. Its strengthened frame protects the driver in a crash and the vehicle has a top speed of approximately 60 mph (about 100 kph) and an acceleration of 0-40 mph (60 kph) in seven seconds.

At just over three feet (1 metre) wide, it is 20 inches (0.5 metres) narrower than a micro-car, and three feet narrower than a medium sized conventional car. This reduced width means more efficient parking bays, and the possibility of narrower lanes for such vehicles.

The vehicle is different from previous attempts to create a small urban vehicle in that it is fully enclosed in a metal framework, is stylishly designed and is much safer. Its roof is as high as conventional cars, and it carries one passenger, who sits behind the driver.

German, French, British and Austrian organisations, including BMW, began work on the project in December 2002 completed it in March this year. It is funded by the European Union. The car was launched at the University of Bath.

Partners include: the Technische Universitaet Berlin in Berlin, the Institut Francais Du Petrole in Vernaison near Lyon, and the Institut Fuer Verkehrswesen – Universitaet Fuer Bodenkultur, in Vienna.

Matt Barker and Ben Drew, research officers at the University of Bath’s Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control, developed a novel tilting chassis concept to keep the vehicle stable in corners. The vehicle controls the amount of tilt automatically, unlike on a motorcycle where the rider controls how far to tilt the vehicle.

The hydraulic active tilt system is electronically controlled to keep the vehicle balanced at all speeds while maintaining car-like steering throughout. The vehicle has an aluminium frame and plastic body work.

The work at Bath focused on the design and simulation of the vehicle chassis and control of the hydraulic tilting system. Cooper-Avon Tyres Ltd worked with the University of Bath to achieve these goals.

Running on compressed natural gas, the vehicle would not only help preserve stocks of oil but would emit about a third of the carbon dioxide than conventional family cars. Because it does not run on petrol or diesel, it would not be liable for the congestion charge in London, or any other city where the charge is likely to be adopted. Its fuel consumption is equivalent to 108 miles per gallon (or 2.6 litres per 100 kms) with petrol, a third of most cars.

"The CLEVER vehicle is a tremendous leap forward in the development of vehicles for the 21st century," said Dr Jos Darling, senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, who is in charge of its part of the project, with Dr Geraint Owen.

"Making our vehicles smaller is a good solution to the relentless increase in traffic in our towns and cities. The advent of micro cars was a first step, but with its manoeuvrability and narrowness, the CLEVER vehicle is the ultimate in the search for a small vehicle to get around cities like Bath and London.

"The fact that it has a stylish design, can carry a passenger, is not open to the weather and is as high as a conventional car, will mean it will be much more popular with motorists than previous novel city vehicles.

"It costs less to run, is quieter and is less polluting, and this will make it popular with environmentalists. Its strengthened safety frame makes it very safe for the driver in accidents.

"We think the CLEVER vehicle is the way forward in city motoring and are proud that the University of Bath is at the heart of a European project to bring it about."

Tony Trueman | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects
11.08.2016 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Automated driving: Steering without limits
05.02.2016 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>