What if commuting could be mixed with exercise? Saudi-based inventor Nasser Al Shawaf had the idea, BPO made it reality.
The FitCar PPV makes it possible to get your daily workout behind the steering wheel: the acceleration of the car is controlled by pedaling. For daily commuters, this will turn their tedious commute into active, healthy time. The FitCar PPV system has three settings; ‘Drive Slow’ – when in slow moving traffic, ‘Drive Fast’ for highway speeds and ‘No Drive’ for when stuck in stationary traffic but with the ability to continue exercising. The intensity of the workout can be regulated.
The FitCar PPV ‘prototype #2’ is based on a standard Audi A4 Avant 2.0L petrol TFSI auto, with the throttle replaced by a bicycle pedal mechanism mated to a flywheel to generate an electric pulse that engages the accelerator. The car is then powered as normal, delivering manufacturer specification performance and economy, but the speed governed by an active pedalling motion, as opposed to the conventional depressing of the accelerator. To make space for the bicycle and flywheel mechanism, the brake-pedal has been replaced with a simple off-the-shelf ‘push hand control’ conversion as used in motability vehicles.
BPO explored several options before settling on pedals. A simple, rough model (mock-up) was built to demonstrate how the principle could work. The next step was the conversion of a real SmartCar. The SmartCar showed it was possible to control acceleration with pedals and that it allows for a precise and natural way of controlling a vehicle. The latest prototype, an Audi A4 Avant, is chosen for its cockpit ergonomics, allowing for a comfortable cycling position, with enough room for the physical action of pedaling.
FitCar PPV is patented internationally, and is awaiting RDW approval in the Netherlands for road use across Europe. Auto Express tested the prototype and reported: “The FitCar PPV clearly delivers on its promise. The idea of exercising as you drive appeals, and it’s certainly one of the more original ideas in motoring”. For more information see: fit-car.net