The Tata Nano’s compact dimensions make it a breeze to drive even in crowded city spaces. Add terrific visibility all around and you have a car that can be squeezed into the most tight parking spots, places where other cars cannot dare to be parked without nicking a fender or two. Tata Motors could take parallel parking to an all new level in the next generation version of the Nano with the “Zero Turn” technology that engineers at Tata are said to be working on. A Nano equipped with Zero Turn steering technology is currently being developed by Tata Motors’ UK based engineering team.
Now, what is Zero Turn Steering Technology?
Zero Steer Steering Technology allows the front wheels of the car to pivot by up to 105 degrees from straight forward position. This will happen at parking speeds, which means that you can ease the car into the tightest parallel parking spots available. Apart from parking, this system has the potential to make taking tight U-Turns also much simpler, aiding maneuverability in a big way.
To make this entire system work, Tata Motors’ engineering team uses a redesigned MacPherson front suspension while Torotrak variators counter-rotate the rear wheels to allow the car to pivot around the center of its rear axle. To simplify things on production-spec Tata cars, the car maker is looking at using software that will use ABS or a modified electronic brake to lock the inner wheel.
Doing so, will eliminate the complex mechanical parts for the Zero Turn steering system and make the whole set up much cheaper when produced on a large scale. The Zero Turn steering system is expected to be showcased on the Tata MegaPixel range extending hybrid concept. Such a system fitted to the Tata Nano and MegaPixel will make these cars unique set of wheels, primed to make city driving a veritable breeze.
For now though, the technology is still under development and it could take a couple of years to see the light of the day on production versions of Tata cars like the Nano and the MegaPixel. If Tata manages to put this technology into production, expect many more Tata cars to get this feature as cities around the world get more congested making parking and maneuvering more difficult each passing year.