Drive Like The Flintstones With This Pedal-Powered Car
The Flintstones are often remembered for one thing: their foot-powered cars. It may have been hilarious to see them scurrying around on their feet to “drive” around, but not to Saudi inventor Nasser Al-Shawaf. To him, this was an opportunity to take “healthy driving” to the next level.
Mr Nasser Al Shawaf, in a partnership with Dutch automotive engineering group, BPO wants to introduce the Fit Car PPV, a pedal-powered vehicle mechanism that features bicycle pedals instead of an accelerator. How the car moves is by pedaling. The pedaling is converted into an electrical current, which is triggers the accelerator. Pedal faster, and the car moves faster, it’s that simple.
"Our ambition is for the technology to be either adopted by a car manufacturer for a new generation of 'healthier' city cars, or for us simply to offer it as a conversion kit in the after-market for those wishing to add PPV as an optional active extra to their car." said Shawaf.
BPO’s engineers came up with the idea of using a rig, which looks like the bottom half of a small exercise bike. The engineers then replaced the signal from the car’s throttle controls for the accelerator pedal, with the signal from the two spinning pedals, and installed a hand-operated brake.
“When you give it a try, it’s so logical, just to step in the car and to drive away by pedaling,” says Oscar Brocades Zaalberg, BPO founder.
The mechanism can reportedly be fitted into any vehicle. BPO used an Audi A4 Avant wagon, with a 2-liter gasoline engine and an automatic gearbox as a technology sample. The bike pedals don’t provide any extra power or motion, they just trigger the movement of the car which is powered by its normal engine. The design features three-speed settings: drive slow, drive Fast and no drive.
In terms of safety, the car is good to go as well. The Dutch road safety authorities have checked out the Audi prototype, and says as far as they’re concerned it’s legal for regular streets. Brocades Zaalberg says that it is easy to control your speed with the pedals, but that BPO has a lot to do in terms of crash safety, especially in integrating safety features like airbags.
In the studies of the trials of the mechanism, drivers are able to burn more than 300 calories every 30 minutes. This car is proof that there is a market of people; the same kind of people who bought into the idea of standing desks and even treadmill desks, who don’t have the time or the discipline to go to the gym every week. This car, if it comes out, will definitely help people to have a more efficient and creative way to engage in exercise daily.
What do you think? Would you like to give this exercise car a try? Leave a comment below!