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Cute Car

July 2nd, 2014 - 5:20 am

DIMPLES

Your next car might have dimples:

Golf balls are dimpled for a reason — they sail through the air just slowly enough that the uneven surface reduces drag, helping them fly farther than they might otherwise. Wouldn’t it be nice if your car could get that kind of aerodynamic boost? It might, if MIT’s newly developed morphable surface becomes a practical reality. The technology creates dimples on the fly by sucking the air out of a hollow ball with both a stiff, rubber-like skin on top and a soft material just below. The result is odd-looking to say the least, but it’s effective. It can wrinkle itself to cut down on air resistance when it’s traveling slowly, yet smooth itself out to minimize drag at high speed.

Vehicles would be the most likely to benefit from the concept, and researchers already foresee transportation whose panels dimple to improve your mileage.

Aesthetically I have to wonder if consumers would go for it. Would you trade that perfectly-reflective wax job for an extra MPG or two?

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