Not all vehicles need to take flight to “travel off the grid,” writes engadget.com in a story highlighting high-tech vehicles that do some pretty amazing things. The ability for a vehicle to travel off-road is vital in rural areas or disaster zones where roads are impassable due to natural disasters, engadget.com explains. The website arranged a list of six off-terrain vehicles that CDL truck drivers love to read about—and even drive.
1. Road-carrying truck
B-Y-O-Road? Welsh company Faun Trackway dreamed up (and built) a truck that can travel where there are no roads — because it carries its own. Mounted on the back of an otherwise pretty standard-looking truck, a roll of thin aluminum extrusions can be unfurled to create a 50-meter roadway.
The resulting temporary surface is capable of supporting vehicles weighing up to 70 metric tons, so the road-laying truck is a great companion for delivery and rescue vehicles carrying heavy supplies into otherwise hard-to-reach areas. Once the convoy has traversed the aluminum roadway, Faun Trackway’s creation rolls the road back up and hustles along to its next challenging destination.
2. Electric “spider” car
The Swincar is a bizarre but useful car that can drive just about anywhere. Each of the vehicle’s independently driven wheels is attached to a spider-like leg for extra ground clearance, and powered by its own electric motor.
This setup translates to a lot of power and control, so uneven terrain barely even slows the Swincar down, let alone stops it in its tracks. Because it’s an all-electric vehicle with no emissions, the Swincar one-ups traditional ATVs in the sustainability department as well.
3. Tunnel zipper truck
This truck can not only drive where there is no road, but it can build a 14-mile tunnel out of Lego-like bricks in just 24 hours. The zipper truck is equipped with rollers held in place by a tapered metal core, and the wider front of the truck allows the tailored lock-blocks to be placed just so, creating a perfect archway.
Much like the historic arch’s Roman predecessors, the arched tunnels zipped together by this truck need no mortar or adhesive. Even better, the blocks can be removed once the tunnel is no longer needed and then be reused many times over.
4. Slope-worthy VW party bus
While some off-road vehicles are designed with serious functions in mind, others are just looking for a good party. This modified 1966 VW Bus Bulli T1 was created with slope-side jams in mind. In addition, rubber snowmobile tracks replaced its wheels.
The hip party van travels across the snow at a good clip. In addition, it comes equipped with a 1,000-watt subwoofer and two 300-watt speakers. Just add snow and your own DJ.
5. Automatic brick road machine
Designed to make charming brick roads even easier to lay down. This Dutch machine completes the work of a crew of human laborers in a fraction of the time. Dubbed Tiger-Stone, the automatic paver-laying machine lays up to 400 square meters of gorgeous brick road in a day.
Adjustable to widths up to six meters, the machine is fed by human workers who stack bricks into an angled hopper in the desired pattern. The, the machine leverages gravity to lower the bricks onto the pre-leveled ground. Tiger-Stone eliminates the back-breaking aspects of bricklayers’ jobs, while cutting both time and cost. In addition, it leaves behind a beautiful brick road.
6. All-terrain adaptive tricycle
This hybrid tricycle helps adventurers with disabilities go places. Created by designer Jesse Lee, the Horizon traverse a wide variety of surfaces that wheelchairs and other adaptive vehicles. For example, these include gravel, hills, grass or dirt.
Powered by electricity and pedal power (controlled either by hand or foot), it combines in one of three different “driving modes.” This depends on the amount of power needed. The Horizon goes up to 25 miles per hour. In addition, its 48-volt lithium-ion battery offers a 30-mile range on a full charge.
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