TED Conversations

Damian Przybyła


This conversation is closed.

why over 2000-pounds vehicle is used to transport 150-pounds person?

why over 2000-pounds vehicle is used to transport 150-pounds person, do we really need this speed and range of cars? world evolved into a place without distances and borders, and maybe even without time - these are domains of our reality, but isn't there a ominous paradox within, the faster we're living - the less time we have; the faster our "standard of live" grows - the more phony dependencies we create (e.g. in crucial sectors - as agriculture), the more we posses, the less happy we are; let’s start by walking slowly.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 19 2012: As an engineer whose business is to calculate vehicle performance, I too have been asking this question. There seems to be no answer or almost none. Disabled people use small electric carts to get about at about 10 km./hr. and this strikes me as a good way to do it in town. Some others have a city car which is smaller and lighter than when they want to go longer distances.

    But in general the tradition of high-speed motoring capacity is combined with a relatively heavy-structure for giving a limited degree of crash protection. Designers don't seem to accept the fact that when such a heavy structure fails it collapses violently. A greater degree of flexibility is needed. What is not tried in car design is the provision of low mass with lower speeds and a very flexible (inflated?) structure, which would provide better crash resistance and it would need to dissipate much less kinetic energy during failures. The law could be changed to restrict the heavier personal vehicles to be kept out of town, etc. Also it could be argued that the fuel manufacturerers are having such a good time that these new suggested design styles are unwanted, but as fuel becomes a greater part of family living costs this need for change will grow.

    I am sure that if the finance department of a country were to calculate the amount of public money is being spent on crash victims recovery and balance this against the expense of new-car develpoment/testing and allow for the reductions in taxes charagable on the fuel for the new desigh, then there would not only be new jobs needed but money to pay the wages for this kind of work. In other words the integration of cars, people, work and taxation would be of great benefit. Trouble is most planners can only think in terms of one aspect of the situation, when in fact it should be considered as a big system, akin to macroeconomics (or at least how one should regard this subject, instead of our poor types of one-sector favouritism).
    • thumb
      Jul 21 2012: Hello David, thank you for answer; probably we can not expect lowering our expectations towards future - if we’re able to travel across such distances in such short time - why, we shouldn’t benefit from it, but I’m assuming from you answer, that there won’t be any solutions which will come from reorganizing our way of life - but from innovating and proposing new technologies and materials

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.