#1973: ShiftShaft

Audi once developed a safety system which moved the engine in a car during a crash so as to avoid impact with the occupants.

Today’s invention moves the engine and gearbox in a vehicle, but for different reasons.

As shown, the (blue) engine/gearbox unit is threaded onto a splined drive shaft and is free to slide along this axially within an enlarged transmission tunnel between the seats.

Its position would be changed using a worm/wheel combination and so the vehicle could automatically adjust its centre of mass from moment to moment according to the current dynamics (as measured by several accelerometers).

Cars would therefore be capable of sharper direction change, under better control than ever before.

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