Thursday, January 5, 2012

Aqua-car

Last evening, I went to Bukit Jalil to attend the AFC Toastmasters meeting. I was originally slotted to be one of the Evaluators but ended up being elevated to be the General Evaluator instead. And the meeting agenda was riddled with confusing changes. Still, I was fortunate to listen to good speeches and evaluations – I shouldn’t be surprised since this is an AFC Toastmasters meeting where Daniel Teh and company would have set certain benchmarks.

My other major complaint was that the meeting started twenty minutes late! This is really inexcusable. Anyway, I would grudgingly give a score of 4 out of a 10 for this meeting.

I spotted this intriguing Chinese-designed car on UK’s The Daily Mail yesterday although it first surfaced in the same newspaper on June 13, 2011 – see photos below:


The all-terrain eco-friendly vehicle, which has a top speed of 62 mph and works like a hovercraft, can move seamlessly between different surfaces. Xihua University student Yuhan Zhang created the spectacular car – called the Volkswagen Aqua – the winning entry to a Volkswagen-sponsored compeition.

The vehicle's sleek sportscar-like design incorporates four high-powered fans and integrated airbags that inflate to lift it from the ground.

A large windscreen stretches above the front seats to give a panoramic view of the landscape ahead.

And you enter and exit the car from a hatch at the rear of the car.

Based on technology that is currently available, the Aqua uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power two motors - with zero carbon emissions. One motor inflates the skirt around the vehicle to make it hover, while the second drives it forwards and controls its direction.

But I do know that hovercrafts are difficult to control and there is also the issue of stability, I think. If the Aqua really works like a hovercraft, has Ms Zhang addressed this? Still, this car is cool! And it would be really swell to drive this amphibious vehicle on our flood-prone KL roads, wouldn't it?

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