Sage by Robert Marvin, Torque Consulting, USA

2007: Sharing the Road.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Bob Marvin is the principal of Torque Consulting, focusing on integrated product innovation and marketing. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design from Mass. College of Art, an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and over 40 design and utility patents. Projects have included everything from consumer goods, toys and transportation, to a radio telescope array.


Sage concept: a Safer Car:
Vision: High driving position and lower rear seating position aid vision and protect rear passengers. Large greenhouse with strong but thin A, B and C pillars (steel/carbon fiber sandwich) provide uninterrupted sight lines. Rear facing cameras in five positions give good feedback. Doors are scissor-opening, with rear-sliding doors, taking up much less space on narrow streets for passenger egress.

Control: Conventional suspension and steering is replaced by a “hexapod” system of six telescoping heavy-duty linear bearings on ball joints at each wheel. (This is currently in use with flight simulators and experimental machine tools) Magneto-reological hydraulic fluid provides instant response for active suspension. Since “steer by wire” is accomplished by multiple arms acting in concert, perfect camber and contact patch is always achieved for all steering maneuvers. Wheel motors provide regenerative braking and active traction control for accident avoidance, input from proximity detectors and driver. This is a quantum leap from existing 4-wheel drive/steering systems, as true dynamic 3-dimensional control is possible, no limitations of traditional suspension geometry.

Crash Protection: Drive train modules provide low CG, shear at an angle under passenger module while absorbing impact in crash situations. Front and rear fenders have soft-coated reinforcing beams that 3-dimensionally protect occupants and pedestrians from side impacts. Decreasing radius geometry and tall crash structures front and rear ensure bumper compatibility with a variety of vehicles, bumpers wrap around side zones. Top of hood features unique outside airbag that deploys to protect both windshield and pedestrians or cyclists in the event of a crash.