Easy Parking With SIDE-STEERING Car (May, 1932)

Easy Parking With SIDE-STEERING Car

FORDS have been forced to do strange things in the past, but the honors for odd performances to date go to a machine, built by a Pontiac, Mich., mechanic, which can move sideways at an angle of 65 degrees, and thus make parking an extremely simple matter.

As demonstrated in the photo above, the machine has each of its wheels mounted on a steering hub, so that a turn of the steering mechanism operates all four wheels.

  1. George says: December 31, 20088:06 am

    So, how many times has this been invented? Steerable back wheels, hydraulic and other pop out wheel assemblies with 2 or 4 wheels, gadgets that flip the car into the space with levers, mirrors, lenses, radar, and periscopes to help you see, and steam rams to just shove the other cars across the street. It’s the perpetual motion machine of the 20th century.

  2. Mike says: December 31, 20089:26 am

    It has been modified several times but never caught on, they just have not been able to improve on the biggest problem/obstacle with the automobile…. the driver.

  3. George says: December 31, 200810:38 am

    Like so many of predicted future gadgets, all the complicated mechanical gadgetry ended up replaced with some relatively inexpensive electronics and a microprocessor or two.

    When I wrote my original response, I forgot to mention the growing number of cars that park themselves. Lexus and I think BMW have them. How long before you can get it on a low end car, 5 years, maybe?

    “Giant Electronic Brain Parks Cars, Scientists at the University of IBM showed how an electronic brain can park a car. They demonstrated the invention to the awe struck press. Technicians used simple surveying instruments to take a dozen or so measurements of the car, parking space, and positions of other cars. These figures were then recorded on punched cards and fed into the waiting electronic brain in a nearby building. In just 35 minutes, the machine printed out a set of instructions for the driver, telling how far to turn the wheel, how fast and how long to drive before the next step. Unfortunately, the car was towed before the demonstration could be completed.”

  4. Rick Auricchio says: December 31, 20081:07 pm

    But the Deskeeterization invention is still with us: the electronic insect and rodent repellent devices.

  5. Mike says: December 31, 20087:30 pm

    Geroge, I believe Ford is introducing a model with a parking feature for 2010.

  6. Toronto says: January 1, 20091:59 am

    Mike: That sounds like Detroit in 2008 – recycling ideas from 1932.

    And SketterSkatters don’t actually work in the real world, as far as every review I’ve ever seen says.

  7. g663 says: January 1, 20099:33 am

    Y’all missed the point.

    Various modern construction equipment, notably “site dumpers” and “self-loading concrete mixers” come with exactly this type of steering, as one selectable option in a three-mode steering system.

    One: conventional steering of front wheels only.

    Two: tight-radius steering of front and rear wheels, where both sets of wheels track the same circle to enable turning tight corners.

    Three: “crab-steering” as it is called, the steering mode shown in the picture above, to allow parallel motion of the vehicle between “lanes.”

    For more look up manufacturers such as Dieci (Italy), Merlo (also Italy), and Carmix (Spain) and take a close look at the pictures of their machines.

    The steering is accomplished by a regular steering wheel with hydraulic power steering, and no microprocessors are used to control the direction of the vehicle (though an onboard industrial controller may be used to interface dashboard selector switches to the hydraulic valves that select the steering mode).

  8. The Clashing Blade says: January 1, 200910:36 am

    In-actual-fact any half decent Irishman worth his salt should be able to drive and park in this fashion after downing ten pints of porter in his lunchbreak.

  9. hwertz says: January 1, 20096:43 pm

    There are actually a few systems that do this, although not at a 65 degree angle.

    The Nissan Skyline had 4-wheel steering since the 1980s.. it’s been a distniguishing feature of the Skyline ever since. It would steer the rear wheels at low speeds to help turn tighter, and turn the rear wheels like 2-3 degrees at high speeds, as Nissan found this helped high-speed handling on the curves significantly. The US equivalent is the boringly named Infiniti G35.

    More recently, some GMC trucks had Quadrasteer. It cuts like 20% of the turning radius.. the one downside, it’ll turn so tight that people with a trailer could hit the front corner of the trailer against the side of the truck. They don’t make it anymore, they sold it at close to $10,000 initially, with very low sales.. then dropped it to somewhere closer to $1,000, and still didn’t sell enough for GMC to keep making it an available option. I’ve heard from people that got one that they LOVE it though.

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