Automotive

Cushion-coated iSAVE-SC1 electric vehicle is a soft touch

Cushion-coated iSAVE-SC1 elect...
The iSAVE-SC1 cushions the blow with predestrians
The iSAVE-SC1 cushions the blow with predestrians
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The iSAVE-SC1 cushions the blow with predestrians
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The iSAVE-SC1 cushions the blow with predestrians
The iSAVE-SC1 is covered in air-filled cushions
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The iSAVE-SC1 is covered in air-filled cushions
The iSAVE-SC1 boasts a top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) and range of 30 km (18.6 miles)
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The iSAVE-SC1 boasts a top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) and range of 30 km (18.6 miles)

It might not win any beauty contests, but this electric vehicle developed by students at Hiroshima University would be my pick if I had the choice of which car I was going to be involved in an accident with. Instead of relying on interior airbags to cushion the driver during a collision, the iSAVE-SC1 is essentially a drivable cushion that should soften the blow for driver and pedestrian alike.

While the air-filled cushions probably don’t help the aerodynamics of the three-wheeled vehicle – contributing to a reported 50 km/h (31 mph) top speed and range on an overnight charge of 30 km (18.6 miles) – the goal of the students in the Humanix group wasn’t performance, but to build a vehicle that is “kind to humans.”

While a price of 790,000 yen (approx. US$9,212) is being bandied about, as well as features such as interchangeable plastic roof and cushioned bumpers that will come in a variety of different colors, we wouldn’t expect to see the vehicle on public roads. However, the concept would appear to have some merit for areas where pedestrians and slow moving vehicles have the potential to mingle, such as airports or amusement parks.

The iSAVE-SC1 can be seen ramming volunteers in this video.

Sources: Humanix (Google Translate) via RocketNews24

6 comments
Bart Viaene
Good idea, but the exterior airbag will only help protect cyclists and pedestrians at low velocities, because of the relatively high vehicle mass. The high wind screen position at chest level will further still crush their head, chest and spine. I've been driving a TWIKE electromobile for 17 years now. Its low 125 cm profile with a narrow, low nose well covering a single, narrow, light-weight front wheel and a slanted glider plane shape will always miss or only graze pedestrians and cyclists, even children. They may break a leg, but are unlikely to suffer irreparable injuries in head-on collisions. The extremely low mass of the TWIKE vehicle (max. 250 Kg, depending on battery size) further ensures the safety pilots and road users, and the space frame, roll bar, egg shape, safety belts and sled chassis protect the TWIKE pilot and passenger. Future low weight batteries will reduce the mass even more.
Gerard58
I just had a thought looking at this, if all vehicles had a large Teflon air-bag fitted to the front and triggered before impact you could do the same. The main advantage apart from cutting million of a second of the impact, it would wrap up the entire broken particles in a Teflon sock, which would help the victim on the other side. Most surgeons say, it's all the small bits that come from both vehicles that make’s their job prolong apart from fixing broken bones. These particles can lead to infection later, if it is not discover in surgery. Why not go down that road, as the return would be better. It could be designed into the front bumper in an attractive way that would not take away from the vehicle. Gerard.
frogola
this is the way to go with a strong tubular frame,it may be lighter for more range and the aerodynamics problem could be solved I'm sure. more effort should go to an inflatable car and other things.
Adrian Akau
It is a good idea for small cars but it could not apply to regular vehicles. Cars would better benefit by bumper stored air bags which could be deployed by electronic sensors just before an emminent collision. Cars could also be designed using foam steel to absorb the impact. I also think that as cars become lighter, they will need gyroscopic assistance for a smoother ride.
yrag
After one rain or snow fall wouldn't the cushions of that thing make it a stained filthmobile?
Slowburn
Good idea but the execution was poor.