The car of the future will likely have spherical wheels which are omnidirectional like what Goodyear has envisioned. That’s the future for sure. However, mankind is not going to sit around and wait for it to happen in the future; in fact, some folks have been working on omnidirectional wheels for a years now and the Liddiard Wheels is one of them. This incredible invention is billed as the world’s first bolt-on application “for anything with wheels,” meaning it can be used with no modification to the car. And as expected from omnidirectional wheels, a vehicle outfitted with Liddiard Wheels can travel in any direction, be it sideways, turning on the spot or whatever. Finally, parallel parking is going to be literally parallel parking and that sounds like a win to us.
The brainchild behind this little known invention is Canadian William Liddiard who developed this set of working prototype as a proof of concept, which explains the less than polished look, but it will be refined eventually. According to the inventor, the tires bear the same “build characteristics as a regular tires” and they are designed for “all weather and road conditions.” The example here doesn’t appear to have grooves or thread pattern, so we imagine the final product, if it sees the light of production, will sport them (the thread pattern). There’s a caveat to William’s invention though; as it is, there’s an immense 24,000 lbs of torque put on the tires and honestly, you won’t want that if you are expecting to go any faster than a crawling snail.
Excitement and awe asides, we reserve our rights to be skeptical about this invention. I don’t see how the driver is able to control the omnidirectional without some degree of modifications to the car. If you observe closely (0:30 mark on the video), you will noticed that there’s no driver. Only a dude, presumably William himself, seated on the right. So was he manipulating the turning via other means? And when the vehicle was seen moving normally (2:25 mark), it had a driver at the driver’s seat. So, don’t blame us for being skeptical. Don’t get me wrong. We are still excited and amazed by Liddiard Wheels, but we do need to know a little more to dispel our skepticism. Continue forth for the video, or perhaps, you’ve already seen it all in the GIF above?