Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Funicular Roadway

You know... for skids
  [vote for,

Today, driving in driving rain, I found my tyres losing traction as I drove up a mountain.

A fifth wheel, central to the vehicle and toothed to engage a gear rack set into the road surface, would allow much better traction up such daunting slopes, safely.

When retracted it could double as a regenerative energy storage device, seeing as how it would be a large, heavy flywheel most of the time.

UnaBubba, Nov 01 2013


       A true furnicular uses two cars linked by a cable, which balance one another.   

       This is actually a rack-and-pinion system.   

       The wheel wouldn't need to be heavy per se; there just needs to be enough downforce from the mass of the vehicle to keep it engaged.   

       There would need to be a way of keeping the vehicle exactly central on the rack. On cog raiways, that's not a problem as the rack is simply centred between the rails.   

       Could be done on a 4x4 with a gearbox rear power takeoff port i.e. a Land Rover.
8th of 7, Nov 01 2013

       A narrow-gauge-to-cog railway once ran within a few dozen yards of my house (pre-existing appeal);   

       and I generally love things that involve maximizing traction while going up mountains and such;   

       and I love regenerative motors and flywheels and large heavy mechanical devices;   

       and it seems like the sort of thing that would make a unique and interesting noise...   

       So, bun.
Alterother, Nov 01 2013

       It could be lighter, [8th], but that would detract from the steampunk overkill factor I intended.
UnaBubba, Nov 01 2013

MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 01 2013

       There was a Panhard armored car that had four rubber- tired road wheels and four more cleated steel wheels that dropped down between them for enhanced traction. I've seen one somewhere. Bovington, maybe?
Alterother, Nov 01 2013


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