Forget all-wheel drive. This is all-way drive.
For some drivers, the ability to parallel park is akin to building a house. They know what they want to achieve and what the final product should look like, but the necessary steps require skills they simply don't possess. Well, Canadian inventor William Liddiard has a solution: bolt on a set of his homemade omnidirectional Liddiard Wheels.
Liddiard attached the wheels to his personal Toyota Echo, allowing the car to move in any direction and even spin 360 degrees. Parallel parking would simply require a driver to pull up next to an empty spot, then use the system to move laterally into the space.
In the video, you see how the custom tires roll to move the car. The video is slightly sped up, but Liddiard says that changing the gear ratio is possible without sacrificing performance. The tires are grooved and made of the same sort of rubber compounds as traditional tires. Liddiard claims the system places 24,000 pounds of torque directly on the tires.
This is not the first omnidirectional wheel system designed for cars, but it does seem to be the first that can be bolted on. Other systems require the vehicle, be it a car or a forklift, to be designed around the wheels.
Liddiard is looking to bring the wheels to market, be it on his own or through a manufacturer. He says the system can be refined and adapted for specific uses and that cars are not the only viable application.
Some manufacturers have available systems that perform the black magic that is parallel parking automatically, but Liddiard's system offers a different and interesting alternative.