CRAZY WEDNESDAY: PUTTING THE “HORSE” BACK INTO “HORSEPOWER”

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When I saw this, I almost thought it had been designed especially for Crazy Wednesday. In what seems like a truly bonkers development of the hybrid vehicle concept, Dubai group Fleethorse have decided to put the horse, quite literally, inside the wagon. The Naturcar is a strange looking, mostly glass, SUV style vehicle, in which passengers sit in the front compartment and a horse on a conveyor belt occupies the larger space behind. This delightful video illustrates what is, at the moment, only a concept.

The driver would have all the usual controls, so the vehicle, thankfully, would not actually act like a horse. Additionally, there would be a CCTV screen in the cab, so that the horse’s wellbeing can be monitored. This is also achieved through sensors ensuring the animal does not overheat. Should your trusty steed refuse to walk, the conveyor belt would very gently nudge it into doing its job, but for a really recalcitrant nag, battery backup will kick in.

Fleethorse reckon, possibly a little optimistically, that Naturcar might be able to achieve 60-80 km/h, although the horse itself only has to gallop at a maximum of 20 km/h and their technology will do the rest.

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The inventors are realistic in acknowledging that Naturcar has limited uses. They envision the Naturcar initially touring the world, as an inspiration to think about environmental vehicle designs and to promote good animal care. As they say on their website, “Naturmobiles are designed to be symbols of encouragement for the peoples in order to save the planet earth is no other livable place in the whole Universe”. Not content with Naturcar alone, they also have plans for Naturbus (a two horse model), Naturminibus, Naturtaxi and Naturvan. They foresee these other vehicles in the fleet being used in advertising and to carry passengers on sightseeing tours.

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I know this does all sound like a joke, but I really do think they are serious. A look around their website shows just how enthusiastic the inventors are about their ideas, although they do acknowledge that most people they told about it found it all rather funny.

Amanda

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