A dream job dreaming up future vehicles (pictures)
Canada's Charles Bombardier imagines futuristic vehicles ranging from watercraft to spaceships. Not bad for a day job.
Arrow by Charles Bombardier
It's no wonder that Charles Bombardier loves dreaming up concept vehicles. After all, it's in his blood: he's the grandson of snowmobile inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier, founder of plane and train manufacturer Bombardier Inc. and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).
Based in Montreal, ex-BRP designer Charles Bombardier runs a vehicle design studio that has turned out dozens of ideas for next-generation vehicles. Seen here, the Arrow is an electric two-seater that would have lithium-air batteries and a target range of over 370 miles. Mexico-based Sebastian Campos produced the Arrow concept images.
This eight-wheel concept cargo truck requires no driver. The Overdrive is powered by two hydrogen fuel cells that deliver 500 to 1000 horsepower. It can move forward, backward, and sideways to help fit into narrow spaces and would feature eight independent cargo spaces than can be unlocked by smartphone.
The SpaceCross is a simple spacecraft that would ferry astronauts around habitats and vehicles such as the Bigelow Aerospace BA 330 or Space-X Dragon Module. It would be powered by gas thrusters that would correct the attitude of the craft as it zips around in zero-g.
The SplitCycle concept design is actually two motorcycles in one. Each has a 30kw liquid-cooled electric motor and can operate independently. When joined together, they form a car, with one side controlling the steering.
Here's a design idea that's fully part of the Bombardier snowmobile tradition: a motorized, autonomous snow vehicle to carry you back uphill after sliding down on a sled or toboggan. The Motobaggan is a twin track, three-seater automated carrier that will use its sensors to follow you downhill. It's also got a hook to haul sleds back uphill.
Who wouldn't want to travel to a distant city in an automated car instead of a cramped airplane? And what if you could sleep all the way there? That's the idea behind Charles Bombardier's Night Car, a self-driving vehicle activated by smartphone. With Wi-Fi and an audiovisual system, you can stay connected and entertained before you nod off en route to your destination.
This design concept would have an in-wheel electric drive system, gull-wing doors, and a 500-mile lithium-air battery pack.
"Financially, it would make more sense to rent these vehicles on a need basis," Bombardier writes. "Each user would pay his fare by using a smartphone app and onboard credit card terminal. The whole fleet would be monitored 24/7 and would include a live, onboard customer service support and voice-activated commands."