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Tandem Car

Tandem Car Tow Kit
  (+5, -3)
(+5, -3)
  [vote for,

In auto racing, "drafting" is when two cars are very close together to share the air resistance. (Both cars actually benefit from this.) I propose a kit to attach a tarp between two cars in order to share the air resistance between them. A computer controller linked to servos can steer, brake, and accelerate the rear car accordingly. This would make it very efficient for people to take long trips in a caravan manner in order to share the gas load.
kevinthenerd, Jun 07 2006


       [+] for so many obvious reasons.
methinksnot, Jun 07 2006

       [no vote] for so many obvious reasons.
normzone, Jun 07 2006

       um, for this to be effective, the cars would have to be so close together that any difference in reaction time would cause the drafter to impact with the draftee.   

       plus, most people would get kinda nervous haviing someone following them this closely for long periods of time.
tcarson, Jun 07 2006

       If you replace "tarp" with "short, rigid but pivotable link" this becomes bunnable.
Texticle, Jun 07 2006

       //that any difference in reaction time would cause the drafter to impact with the draftee// Huh? The idea says that computers would be doing the reacting. It does mention that the idea is copied from car racing--NASCAR racers do this all day, so do bicycle racers.   

       There are various project similar to this, without the tarp, at various stages of development. The ones that I have seen are drafting at about one car length.   

       I don't see a tarp as needed for streamlining. The airflow just isn't that close to the side of a car. A tarp might help a little, but carrying it around when not drafting would be a waste.   

       What Texticle said about a rigid link. Wire sensors to that, and go like crazy.
baconbrain, Jun 08 2006

       I like this.   

       So do I.   

       Hmmm... me wonders if the aerodynamic gains are offset by the powertrain losses in having dual drives operating at different shift points and such. Any pivotable link should have a large compression / tension joint.   

       Of course, you could always just get a bus.
RayfordSteele, Jun 08 2006

       Firstly, "platoons" are hardly a new idea, and secondly, auto trains are a better solution over long distances.
kinemojo, Jun 08 2006


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