U researchers advance narrow commuter vehicle concept

For about five years, a research team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been developing and refining a prototype narrow commuter vehicle. Their current edition is a three-wheeled model that is a little more than three feet wide, with a driver-protective roll cage that seats one. The vehicle would take up less than half the space of a standard automobile and could potentially be driven two abreast in a normal lane of traffic. Researchers hope this concept may someday help alleviate traffic congestion.

While other prototype narrow vehicles have been developed over the years, and some universities and companies in Europe are actively working on the concept, the University of Minnesota is unique in its research in the United States.

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