Well-Balanced Ride: Single Seat Concept Car Turns on Dime

The Michelin Challenge Design competition always brings out the most innovative and truly unexpected vehicle designs imaginable, and this one does not disappoint. The Supple from 19-year-old Iranian designer Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush is an electric vehicle unlike anything else the world has ever seen. (Admittedly, it does look uncomfortably similar to the hover-seats in Wall-E, but we’re willing to look past that.)

The Supple consists of a single seat and a motor-driven sphere. The unusual design makes the vehicle easily go in any direction with an almost non-existent turning radius. Inside the sphere sits a tow server and a processor. An integrated GPS map on the touch console provides the driver with a simple, no-effort way to get from place to place: just point at the location and the Supple takes you there.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this design is its flexibility. Because of the seat-on-sphere configuration, the seat can either sit on top or off to the side. This flexibility allows the units to attach to one another: two units together can be a motorcycle-type vehicle for one or two riders and four units together can be a car-like automobile. This is one of those designs that will almost surely not be produced in this form, but it presents an excellent set of ideas for future auto designs.

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See more in Concept Vehicles or under Transportation. March, 2011.