Drop by Rubem De Floriani, Brazil

2008: Smaller. Safer. Better.

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Rubem De Floriani, 26, graduated with a degree in product design from the PUC-Rio (Catholic University at Rio de Janeiro) in 2003. Because of his passion for vehicles, mechanics and design, in 2004 he began studies in Mechanical engineering and electronic fuel injection at Otto engine technical school. Since then, he has been involved in projects for many private companies and government institutions like Inovax, INT (National Institute of Technology) and the Brazilian army.

He also has been awarded in other design competitions: FIAT / 4 Rodas Auto Magazine Design Prize in 2005 and The Microsoft / IDSA PC Design Competition in 2006 and the 2007 & 2008 Michelin Challenge Design. His main interest is transportation design and his dream is to become a successful car designer.


Drop (one passenger vehicle) was developed following a new vehicle modality where people are not isolated by their vehicles. Instead they become part of a mobile community where each person keeps their individual personality “dressing” clothes on wheels.

The vehicle possesses diverse levels of body inclination, increasing or diminishing its between-axle according to users’ needs or its location.

The access is given by a frontal hatchway that works as a windshield. In this case, the vehicle must assume the vertical position that works as much for the embarkment and landing as for saving useful space in urban centers.

The wheels are, in reality, four magnetized rubber spheres that serve as a displacement and orientation electromagnetic field for the maglev system. This levitation is given between the car body and the spheres in an electrodynamic suspension system (repulsion force of electromagnetism) serving also as a small damping system. This spherical system would make short maneuvers a lot easier, like turning around its own axle for example. The contact of the rubberized wheels would be given in lightly magnetized floors, thus increasing the tack and the security of the vehicle.