TRIZ Puzzles and Examples: Part 2 Reader's Solutions The Tiny Car

Click here to read Part 1 from the September 1998 issue


Jacob Skir


First of all, my congratulations to all the three readers for their understanding the TRIZ fundamental rule: not to insert new materials but to use the given ones.

  1. Mr. Jose M. Vicente from Valencia suggests using folding material that absorbs energy. Fine! That’s not the "control" solution but it does not negate the "control" one. By the way, it would be useful to formulate the items for the further research: in this case, material that absorbs energy while folding.

  2. Mr. Fred Strauss: "Put the motor in the back like in a VW Beetle". OK, we protect the engine and yet we don’t protect the passengers…

  3. Mr. Nathan Gibson from the North Carolina State University made use of the Contradiction Table and came to the Spheroidality Principle. Who knows, maybe we’ll see such a car in the future. The only request is to present the solution in detail, e.g., with the help of a picture.

  4. Mr. Eric Sloan: "The engine would be designed to move under the car on impact." This is the exact "control" solution. Thus the Smart car is built, a joint venture between Daimler-Benz and the Swiss-based Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries, the maker of Swatch watches.

"A two-seater less than 5 feet long, the Smart car claims to retain the crashworthiness of a full-size sedan. Instead, the Smart car sandwiches its powerplant under the floor; this raises the passenger compartment above the impact area in a collision with a passenger car. The powertrain is mounted on a sliding rack to diminish the force of a collision." (Popular Science - January 1998 - P. 82).

In short: instead of solving the problem along one dimension (i.e. a horizontal line - from the front to the rear) - they solve the problem along the second - vertical - dimension.