eco - car
The Eco-car, which is the 2nd task of the „Eco-mobility” project has a unique structure. It represents a new approach to the issue of designing this type of cars, also was designed to take into consideration the needs of urban transport systems in the coming 10-20 years. The main assumptions which led to creating here presented prototype were:
1) Eco-car is designated for people with both – full and impaired – mobility. This means equal treatment of physically fit and disabled people. This approach derives from the fact that the group off people with impaired mobility is growing and mainly because of the fact of society aging. An insight into the current situation in this field in Poland is shown on fig. 1. The eco-car is prepared in a unique manner to serve also this social group: it has a system of sliding seats, intelligent driver desktop, active suspension, mounting system for a wheelchair of disabled person willing to drive the car on his own
2) Transport systems inside metropolitan areas must be ecological, meaning they must provide low emissions of greenhouse gases. Also, they have to be energy efficient. This results in an electric car as a preferred solution. In the “Eco-mobility” project original in-wheel motor was designed. The motor is powered from so called “electric-hybrid” formed from li-ion battery pack and supercapacitor. The supercapacitor significantly decreases energy consumption in cities as it accumulates energy from braking. All the control systems for engines, steer-by-wire, brake-by-wire and other systems are designed by the project team.
3) An important issue in car’s operation is providing necessary infrastructure. In the project rent-a-car system as well as initial car configuration tool for a mobile phone was designed.
4) In the design process special attention was paid to the issue of ergonomics. The car’s structure meets all basic ergonomic demands.
5) During the design process from methodological point of view the iteration of the triad was used: innovative concept – simulation studies – experimental studies
Basic eco-car's parameters are shown in fig. 2. Other important features are:
city (max. velocity 50 km/h, range ca. 100km),
3 to 4 people maximum capacity
easy to drive (drive-by-wire ; with no mechanical connection between the steering system and the steering arms of the wheels)
drivers – able and physically disabled people in active wheelchairs user friendly and universal targeting different groups of users
Fig. 3 presents important functional features of the eco-car and chosen elements of its design.
Fig. 1 People with impaired mobility in Poland in [%] (Polish Central Statistical Office, 2010)
Fig. 2 Important car parameters
Fig. 3 Car functionality and chosen design elements