The World’s Worst Car Patents and Why They Never Made It!

Here at science made simple we love all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and are pleased to have this guest blog all about technology – that for various reasons is not in mainstream use today! Research and images were carried out and created respectively by OSV – Leading car supply specialists.

We especially like the sound of the flying car and coffee maker – they would certainly help to speed us around the country!

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The world is full of designers, engineers and inventors who are constantly evolving and improving the automobiles we use. Among that group, there are also a few star gazers who are trying their best to make their dreamed up sci-fi ideas into a reality.

Below is a selection of interesting automobile patent applications filed over the years that didn’t quite make it to the market – we’ll let you decide why! For the benefit of the designers, who clearly gained their engineering knowledge by watching repeats of Wallace & Gromit, we have imagined what the promotional material for their products might have looked like.

 

 The Car Seat Divider Construction

We imagine that the inventor of this product, Margaret T Alexander, came up with this idea on a very long journey to Great Yarmouth on a hot summer’s day, with two screaming children in the back of the car.

The object’s purpose is to create a “removable divider for the back seat of a vehicle to separate sparring siblings or the like”.

We can sense poor Margaret’s irritation and despair, and imagine the chaos that usually erupts in her family car journeys as she writes the patent application…“a brands with good safety rating car seat divider that will totally isolate one child from another during long or even short trips when the sibling rivalry between the children reaches the dangerous level such that each child has their own private space and the urge to interact with one another in a negative manner is virtually eliminated”…..and breathe.

 

Margaret rejects current car dividers as just not being good enough to keep her little brats apart, because these products that are already on the market “have no barrier present below the level of the seat and as a result they can still kick at one another in an attempt to annoy or otherwise exhibit dominance over their sibling rival for the affection and/or attention of their parents”.

For now, Margaret, we’ll stick with our ordinary seats and accept that our children will just have to bear one another for their future car journeys until adult-hood.

 

The Flying Car

Patented in 1959 by inventor Einar Einarsson, this inventor had the dream of many designers before him. He wanted to take the family automobile to the skies.

In the patent, Einersson defines the purpose of the invention as to “provide a ground vehicle with propellers and wings, as well as wing flaps so that the vehicle may take off and fly in the air”.

The idea behind Einarsson’s ‘flying car’ was to create an automobile that looks and operates on the ground as a normal car with the addition of propellers and wings that allow the vehicle to “take off and fly into the air”.

Although the bird like design is impressive to look at, this winged vehicle never quite made it to production. Let’s face it; it’s highly questionable whether this automobile/flying machine would have ever worked on the ground, let alone in the air.

 

The In-Car Coffee Maker

 

Clearly these inventors had never heard of Starbucks!

We’re not sure how safe it is to start brewing fresh coffee whilst driving down the M25, although the patent does clearly state that this in car coffee maker “allows the driver of a motor vehicle to brew a cup or other single portion of brewed beverage without taking attention from the road”.

A device that sprays out hot water whilst on the move doesn’t seem like the safest option for a nice cuppa and unfortunately the patent also fails to describe how the driver is to drink the coffee after it has been made without ending up with a face full of hot coffee!

 

 

 

 

Bar code to stop a stolen car without a high-speed chase

The title of this patent pretty much fully describes the purpose of its design.

The idea of this device is to have a unique bar code on every car, which is scanned by passing police cars. If the car is registered as stolen, an array of James Bond style gadgets are deployed. These include the car’s engine being remotely switched off, or its tyres punctured with bullets, or other mechanical means (including jack knives!).

Whilst this device may work in bringing a stolen car to a halt, it is most definitely extremely dangerous for almost everyone involved in the situation, either on, or near the road.

Our favourite part of this patent application, however, is the very technical drawings and the decision tree included in the patent (below) which ends simply with “STOLEN CAR STOP”.carpatent_flowchart

 

The Umbrella attachment for car

 

What’s most impressive about this invention is that it took four geniuses to come up with the idea.  Odis Richardson, Clinton Ages, Leonard Lay & Michael D Walker (who has also patented a wide range of other designs, including surgical instruments and golf club shafts), must have had some real issues with getting wet.

This product was designed to extend the functionality of an umbrella to allot it to “serve as a shield and limit weather elements like rain, hail, and snow from entering the user’s open automobile door.”

“It also protects the driver or passengers from bad weather elements while they enter, exit or stand    by the automobile.”

We’re not sure how long these inventors usually take to get in and out of a car – but from what we can gather, this instrument involves the owner standing in the rain getting wet in order to assemble the umbrella attachment (which doesn’t look an easy process) I think this one needs some more thought.

 

 The baby ‘rememberer’

When we read this invention, first put forward by David Quinonez , we couldn’t help but think about the events that happened prior to the design. We understand that a lot of parents are sometimes forgetful and not every parent is perfect, but exiting your car and forgetting that your baby in still strapped into the car seat is something on a whole new level.

 

David claims that “All too frequently, children transported in baby car seats are, for various reasons, left unattended within the vehicle in the respective baby car seat. Current regulations prohibit such practices. However, forgetful abandonment of children in baby car seats within vehicles continues to claim the lives of children”

 

Apparently, however, this problem is not uncommon and recent media attention surrounding an invention created by Andrew Pelham from Tennesee, has proved that hundreds of parents and grandparents are actually interested in purchasing or creating a similar product themselves at home.

Instead of the alarm, as demonstrated in David Quinonez’s invention, Andrew Pelham, a middle school student, invented a brightly coloured rubber band, which attaches to the driver’s seat of a car and interior door handle. Therefore, when parents exit their vehicle, they have an unavoidable reminder to check their backseat.

 

Useless invention or a work of genius? We’ll let you decide.

 

Information Source: google.com/patents

 

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Posted in Engineering, Exploring Science