New technology is both exciting and sometimes odd. While sometimes technical innovations can wow us all, sometimes we see new advancements that are puzzling or just weird. Then, there are some concepts that are amazing and seem like they will be a no-brainer, but for whatever reason, they just don’t take off.
In the car world, we have seen a number of technologies that meet all of these criteria, from crazy door designs to conceptual designs that are so futuristic, the general public just doesn’t buy into them. Here are some of the ingenious and strange automotive technologies that never caught on.
While technologies can help improve the safety of vehicles, there’s always the potential for an accident and injury. This is why it’s important to be careful in any car you drive, though sometimes, accidents are not avoidable. Following an accident, it’s important to find out your legal course of action, which can be determined after a lawyer visit. Contacting a local firm is important. So, if you live in New Jersey, this might be car crash injury lawyers in Jersey City and so on.
The Gullwing door’s design has been around for years, mostly utilized on premium supercars. However, we generally see it in concept designs. The Nissan NX-21 was a concept that debuted in 1983. The car brand used the concept as a glimpse of what they thought cars would look like in the 21st century. Unfortunately, they were wrong.
Car brands continue to attempt the adoption of the gullwing door, but so far, it has not become a reality. This is due to a number of limitations on the design, such as safety concerns when involved in a crash where the car rolls over or trying to enter your vehicle in a confined space. Telsa’s Model X solves this with their falcon door design. However, the design is complicated and it took the car a while to reach the market, which leads us to believe that other car makers may not rush to bring the design to new car models in the immediate future.
The doors of the NX21 weren’t the only thing that misread the future; it was also propelled by a gas turbine engine at the back. Because the turbine could operate on kerosine and light oil, as well as alcohol, while also running with less parts than most conventional engines during that period, the advantages were evident.
Unfortunately, the engine just never became popular. Chrysler led the development of the turbine vehicle engine during the 1950s to the 60s, but the government shut it down after being bailed out financially to stay afloat. Turbine engine had high fuel consumption (due to the high RPMs), high manufacturing costs, and delayed throttle response.
With Chrysler no longer able to address the issues and no other car brands adopting the turbine engine technology, it was instead relegated to science fiction.
For years, there’s been an amazing old video circulating that shows off Bose’s remarkable suspension advancement, which maintains the vehicle level regardless of the surface it drives over. You can watch the video to see what we mean. It appears like a breakthrough advancement that every car will adopt, but for some reason, it never caught on. Bose eventually offered some answers, admitting that the technology was just too complicated and pricey for the mass market. Maybe one day we’ll see it used in the premium vehicle market.
The Sinclair C5 is exactly what you would think of when you talk about small electric city transport. The concept was to build a compact, electric alternative to the normal gas-powered car, available to people around inner cities. This idea is probably more important now than it was in the past. However, it hasn’t been adopted on a wide scale.
The issue when talking about the C5 was that it was marginally better than simply riding a bike and cost a lot more. It wasn’t much safer than commuting on a bicycle and didn’t provide any weather protection. Short battery life and a poor range also added to the problems.
Today, there’s the Renault Twizy, which is now the greatest example of such a city car. However, there’s the issue with price again. Costing approximately $9,400, you could purchase a used car for around the same price and be a lot safer.
For a concept like this to work, we must see the price decline sharply.
Using rockets for brakes? Yes, this was a real thing, but you can probably figure out why this technology was never really widely adopted. Back in 1946, rocket brakes were actually featured in Modern Mechanix magazine and people were interested in what it was all about. The actual concept for the rocket brakes was for emergency use only, as preliminary testing revealed that it had a stopping power of up to 2g.
The obvious drawbacks were that there was fire involved. It would actually burn with the same impact as numerous gallons of gas and if anyone was near the vehicle when the rockets were in use, they would potentially be burned. Conventional disc brakes were seen as the most suitable option.