Transport Concept 2: Low Profile Vehicle with Complementary Infrastructure (LOCI)
Most attempts to downsize vehicles have focussed on reducing their length whilst retaining the capacity for
seating two passengers abreast whilst they sit in an upright position, such as the Smart car for example.
this approach makes the car lighter and has some benefits for parking, it has few aerodynamic advantages and
takes up a similar amount of road space as a larger car when moving on the highway. This is because of the
considerable distance required between vehicles when travelling at speed, which is irrespective of their length.
More importantly, at junctions a shorter car will create as much of an obstruction as a larger one resulting in
wasted energy used to accelerate and brake the vehicle. Here we consider a more radical approach, using a
much thinner, lower, streamlined car, and more importantly, how the infrastructure could then be best adapted
and designed to suit such a vehicle to minimise accelerating, braking and stopping so transit times and the useful
energy used is reduced even further.
Since a large proportion of car journeys during peak traffic times dont require the transport of more than one
person and a child, this can form the basis for an outline vehicle design. The road capacity can be increased if
the vehicle accommodates 2 people lengthways rather than sideways so this halves the width of the vehicle and
reduces the width of the accommodating road lane. This has the additional advantage of reducing the cross
sectional area of the vehicle which reduces aerodynamic resistance. Moreover, if the vehicle also has a reduced
height relative to a conventional car so the people sit in a reclined position (similar to a high performance sports
car) this would also reduce the cross sectional area even further, and also lower the drag coefficient. Since the
lower legs of people occupy a more limited volume than the upper body it would be appropriate to place these at
opposite ends of the vehicle. This faces the driver faces and the passenger backwards, allowing a more
streamlined shape than if both people sit forwards, reducing the drag coefficient even further.
Figure 9 Low Profile Vehicle with Complimentary Infrastructure (LOCI).
A low height, narrow width, lightweight vehicle transports an adult and child. This achieves fast transit times
by passing traffic jams during rush hour traffic.