ECLIPSE by Narayan Subramaniam, India

2012: City 2046. Art, Life & Ingenuity.


Narayan Subramania is a final year Transportation and Automobile Design student at the National Institute of Design, India.

Currently working on my Diploma project at Mahindra 2 wheelers, India.

Prior to this I have completed my graduation in Mechanical Engineering.

I have always had a passion for conceptual vehicle designs for the future, which started from my first LEGO kit that I had as a kid. There has been no looking back since


ECLIPSE – The future personal mobility vehicle for INDIA

In India, transportation is a male dominated field. And women do not really have an option for personal mobility apart from electric and petrol driven 2 wheelers.

This has increasingly become unsafe because of the following reasons:

  1. Riding a bike is an acquired skill. Requires dedicated time and practice.
  2. Balancing 2 wheelers in heavy traffic is a problem for women, considering the weight of the vehicle, a seated pillion, etc.
  3. People who can afford it buy a car, which takes up a huge footprint for a single user.

These personal vehicles are also used for many purposes, ranging from dropping kids to the school, buying groceries, going out for a ride with friends, etc.

So why not bridge the gap between a bike and a car – between a 2 wheeler and a 3 wheeler, keeping in mind the advantages offered by both.

Also keeping Mumbai in mind, by developing an amphibian vehicle, we can very effectively save on time and fuel consumed to a large extent.

Here my design provides benefits that combine those of a bike and a car.

  1. Unisex vehicle
  2. New experience of riding this vehicle.
  3. Amphibian capabilities
  4. Easy to learn and handle – start stop philosophy (electric)
  5. Very stable, balanced and safe.
  6. Lots of storage space.
  7. Environment friendly (self charging batteries)

How does your design answer the anticipated preferences, lifestyles and transportation needs for the people in your country or region?

In India, there are a LOT of women who use personal vehicles. They avoid using bikes because of safety concerns.

Hence, the main focus behind my design is of making this a UNISEX vehicle.

Being a 3 wheeler, there is the stability factor which makes it safe for men as well as women.
Additionally, Mumbai specifically is a city that is split by water inlets. This makes transportation very difficult and there are no means to cross the water bodies, albeit a bridge that was constructed recently. This gives us an opportunity to think of an amphibian vehicle, with an extremely simple way of changing from land mode to water mode.

Another aspect is the seating arrangement. The person in front is seated like in a car and the pillion is seated like in a bike position. This gives an all new feel to this vehicle.

In India, a country of varied culture and color, this will fit in very well, as a strikingly new personal mobility vehicle, which is revolutionary in terms for looks and functional elements, and will cater to a larger number of users.

What makes your design unique?

The unique features of this design are:

  1. It is a 3 wheeler, with 2 wheels in front.
    This automatically makes the vehicle stable and it will not topple over.
  2. One of my concepts being an amphibian vehicle, the front wheels open into skis while on water and the rear wheel turns 90 degrees to become a turbine. Essentially you now have transformed into a 2 seater jet ski.
  3. The seating arrangement – The driver is seated like in a car, the pillion like in a bike.
  4. This makes it a unisex vehicle.
  5. It has TILT mechanism, which enables the main passenger body to roll slightly while turning, hence giving you the thrill and feel of riding a bike, while maintaining the safety aspect of a car.
  6. The wheels are embedded with a polymer that glows using the heat generated by friction between the tires and the road. At night you will see streaks of red racing down the road.
  7. Being an open vehicle, the air passing through the vehicle is used to charge the batteries using turbines placed below the pillion seat.
  8. The steering is from the 2 wheels in front.
    This increases traction and balance while turning.

What technologies, innovations, lifestyle needs and concepts have you incorporated into your design? How?

The main theme here is to provide a novel driving experience. Something that you have never experienced before.

In the amphibious concept, the technology used is simple yet effective. Shape memory alloys are used in the front wheel rim to transform it from a circular wheel to a flat ski.

A propeller is coupled with the rear wheel waterproofed hub motor, and the entire assembly turns 90degrees in water to convert it into a turbine.

And the dual seating arrangement, along with the tilt mechanism and being a 3 wheeler, you have the experience of driving a bike while the safety and stability of a car.

Lifestyle needs addressed here, most importantly is the issue of making a unisex vehicle, as most women in India avoid 2 wheelers because of safety and balancing concerns and also the need to save time. If you can cut across the sea rather than travel around it by land, you will save a tremendous amount of time.

Technology used :

  1. Amphibian – Shape memory alloys are used in the front wheel rim to transform it from a circular wheel to a flat ski. A propeller is coupled with the rear wheel waterproofed hub motor, and the entire assembly turns 90degrees in water to convert it into a turbine.
  2. Paper this batteries embedded within the body casing. This saves space, as well as gets cooled by the outside air.
  3. TILT mechanism suspension to provide the thrill of riding a bike.
  4. Polymers embedded in the tires that glow in the dark, by using the heat generated by friction.