Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Car that allows you to exercise during long commutes
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Put a removable set of bike pedals on the floor of your car. The pedals would have sensors to detect how hard you are pedaling and adjust the car's speed accordingly. When the pedals are not connected the car would go back to regular gas pedal/brake control. This way people with long commutes would be able to exercise on the way to or from work.
Rich, Apr 21 2000

(?) Baked in a really cool way http://www.vmunoz.a...m/twike/twikerp.htm
Twike electric hybrid has pedals [tenhand, Apr 21 2000, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       In theory this idea is good, but I'm just not picturing the execution of it. Is it a hand brake, or a switch that turns your pedals into brakes/gas? Most people need to be able to stop fast.
magnetbox, Jul 11 2000

       Backpedal to brake... like an old bike.
egnor, Jul 12 2000

       I think an old farmer tried to merge a car with a moped before, May he rest in peace.
RobEC, Jul 22 2000

Detly, Sep 12 2000

       One thing people seem to be missing -- the car still has a gas powered engine. The pedals are there to provide exercise to the driver. Sensors on the pedals are used to determine how fast the car's engine should move the car. The energy generated by the pedals is not at all used to power the car. The point to this idea is to take the time wasted in a commute and put it to some good use, not to power a car! Please read the idea carefully before commenting.
12345, Sep 28 2000

       I read c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y. Too much product liability. Try a harmonica, at least you'll be getting somewhat of a cardio and your jollies.
thumbwax, Sep 28 2000

       I'm amazed how many of the twike details have been guessed in this thread. See the link above. I wish I didn't have to commute at freeway speeds, these things are just too cool.
tenhand, Nov 07 2000

       Why not go a step further and control your car's entire accelerator and braking function with the bike pedals? You select the rate of pedaling to achieve 60 mph. With this set-up, a traffic jam could become a nice break from the workout.
IBBen, Dec 03 2000

       If you want excercise, why don't you just bike to work. It saves on gas and pollution and you get fit in the meantime.
guatekid, Dec 27 2001

       I was surfing the internet, trying to determine if anyone else had the same idea that I had, and well, I found this.   

       I totally believe that we need cars that involve excercise, but I think the excercar should be advertised as an everyday vehicle, not just one for long commutes. The selling point is that instead of having to spend your twenty minutes a day just sitting in your car, you would get your excercise done while you drive to work.   

       Furthermore, I believe that you could make the excercise movements an energy producing activity that would aid in propelling the car. Excercar would not be a device that you put into the car, it would be a feature of the car. A car can run on several different sources of energy as we have seen with hybrid cars. Perhaps the physical excercise would only contribute to running the radio or operating the headlights, but no matter how minimal, I imagine that it could generate energy for the car.   

       I also think that instead of having breaks at your feet, cars could easily be changed so that the brakes were at your fingertips. It might require more manual dexterity, but I believe it is possible. Likewise you could have many different pedals or devices in the floor- some that help run the car, and some that actually allow you to excercise.   

       Furthermore, it may not even be the driver who has to excercise. Excercise equipment could be installed in the back seat or the passenger seat. Maybe four people pumping away might actually produce enough energy to operate some part of the car. Imagine a school bus of wild children all excercising rather than throwing spitballs at the driver.
lsteinho, Jun 07 2002

       lsteinho: Putting brake control would require more manual dexterity? No more than is required to use a bike's handbrakes, even with the steering wheel. If the brakes are at your fingertips, there would have to be a serious pressure booster to increase the hydraulic pressure in the brake lines of a normal-sized (and weighted) car, since your hands cant frip anything nearly as hard as your foot can press the brake pedal, even though there's already a pressure booster in the master cylinder.
Bert6322, Aug 21 2002

       Why stop at simply adding bicycle pedals to an existing car? I envision a car designed from the frame up that holds one person. The vehicle is designed around a mechanical treadmill. Depending on how fast a person is running (I guess this could be determined by sensors monitoring leg movement), the car accelerates or brakes accordingly. So you could run to work (headspace would obviously have to be increased) on the freeway. Or anywhere. This would oblivate the need for jogging paths, or at least make your local toll road a viable exercise alternative. Steering, again, would be done by the nebulous sensors I mentioned, or maybe by hand movements. Be fun to jog (or row or crank or stairmaster or pedal) in a convertible at sixty or so... I suppose you would build one model and have it modifiable for a variety of exercises...The pilates Pontiac, I can see it now...
cloudface, Sep 03 2003

       I saw a web site that actually has a exercar at exercar.com recently. It uses pedal power and looks like a lot of fun to drive.
dcooper4210, Apr 17 2007

       I was going to type up this as an invention but I suspected it might not be original.   

       My idea was that, since I bike a lot more than drive a car, it always seems strange to me to sit totally passive while "the car does all the work". There is some cognitive proprioceptive perceptual thing stuff going on when you exert energy which corresponds to moving through the world.   

       So I think that if the pedals (rotary I think, like bike pedals) were used purely as a controller for the car engine, with appropriate resistance feedback, there could be a pretty tight correlation between pedalling effort and engine output. Just like is becoming common for controlling electric bikes.   

       I envisage backpedal for braking, and I also envision a slushbox-style selector for different modes including reverse (backpedal to reverse, frontpedal to brake), neutral, slow-mode (for manouvering and parking), city mode (like normal), motorway mode (like high gearing), sport mode (requires more exertion). A bit like the 'copenhagen wheel' for bicycles.   

       I think this would make the driving experience very different, much more engaged, help the driver think more and be more aware of the surroundings.
pocmloc, Jan 17 2015


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