New tire/wheel design is long on concept, but do the numbers support it?

The old adage for cars is that engineers aren’t mechanics for if they were, they wouldn’t design their cars the way they do. Well, the same could be said of designers who aren’t engineers OR ). mechanics. Witness this ambitious wheel/tire design called the “Dynamically Augmenting Wheel System” (aka DAWS). The idea is interesting.

As a car takes a turn at speed, rather than losing its center of gravity due to inertia, the wheel itself is designed into eight segments to telescope laterally – thereby keeping the center of gravity where it is. The theory is that the wheel segments move on what is referred to as a liner bearing – located in the hub. This allows the wheel to shift the entire vehicle proportionally and resist inertia’s effects on pulling tires off the road.

Man. Can you imagine not only the cost of outfitting a car a set of these babies, but also of fixing them when they break? As my dad used to say … the more parts a design has, the greater the chance it has of breaking down. Whereas, a simple circlular tube design has little chance of catastrophic failure except for a tire blowout itself.