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Pitch

De-icing system on the body section around the vehicle tires to improve safety and efficiency of driving in freezing winters.


Description

Guidance on collaborative pilot

This is a pilot test of a new, collaborative approach for getting work done in the Climate CoLab. It will run during March and April of 2012.

Just like in the 2011 activities, anyone can create a proposal. But there is also a community proposal, where members are encouraged to work together in a collaborative way. Any member can contribute to the community proposal as long as they are logged in.

The community proposal is like a wiki, so the history of edits is tracked, and you can revert to prior versions of the proposal if desired.

Please also use the Comments to express your opinion on whether or not you would like to see this collaborative approach used in the Climate CoLab in 2012.

Feel free to organize the proposal as you see fit. One thought—it's good to have a brief summary of the overall proposal at the top, as an aid to readers.

Proposal Text

Summary

The cold regions of the world and freezing winters elsewhere impose dangerous conditions for vehicle driving. The freezing conditions often lead to buildup of Snow or ice around the vehicle tires and the body section surrounding them resulting in several problems. When ice impedes tire rotation the natural tendency of a driver is to step up the acceleration. This is an unnecessary carbon foot print that is both unnecessary and avoidable.
 

Problem?

Accumulation of snow and ice can significantly affect tire rotation, traction and movement often impeding the steering control, breaking, acceleration and general control of the vehicle. The common strategies for snow/ ice removal in that region include scraping, using anti / deicing agents .Unfortunately these methods have several shortcomings. Scraping or brushing away the snow is a tiring and time consuming exercise and application of de-icing agents is an expensive and environmentally unfriendly option in the long run. Besides they can be employed in a stationary vehicle.
 


Category of the action

Reducing emissions from transportation


What actions do you propose?

Snowrid is a battery powered conductive sheet composed of flexible and pliable material that can be attached on the surface of the body section around the tire. The exposed face of snowrid is a thin conductive material that is heated by a thermostat regulated heating element stationed beneath it. The heating element is regulated by a central unit connected to vehicle battery and controlled by a electronic circuit. Essentially the electronic circuit will receive the electrical/wireless signal to turn on or off. The system can also be tuned to activate/deactivate based on snow sensor.


Who will take these actions?

Target customer base for Snowrid is vehicle owners living in cold climate and experience freezing winters. We expect that snowrid will enhance customer safety during driving in snow conditions. Customers can expect to spend less time cleaning around the tires and more quality time at the steering wheel. It is possible to develop snowrid to run on alternative sources of power. For instance the engine heat may be directed to snowrid.


Where will these actions be taken?

Let’s take a case study .Based on 2009 statistic for the state of Alaska(US) there are 441,051 vehicles. If we capture 10% of market at a cost of 100$ for snowrid/vehicle that would be a market worth about 41 million dollars. Extending it to the market segments in Europe,Snowrid definitely has a huge market to thrive on. The risks include vehicle manufacturers designing vehicles with inbuilt de-icers. We expect to overcome it by securing comprehensive array of patents. The projected expenses for full scale production, marketing is about 1 million dollars. So its viable and profitable.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Increased fuel efficieny will lead to reduced emissions. The actual data will be avilable after developing and testing the prototype in field conditions.


What are other key benefits?

Having done a comprehensive market research, we believe that there are no competing products with the same functionality in the market yet. The differentiation with the existing physical and chemical de-iceing agents is alluded in the problem statement. Snow-rid can help easy cleaning and maintenance of vehicle tires in freezing conditions. This is labor free, environmentally friendly alternative compared to other deicing systems. This new deicing system would significantly enhance the quality of vehicle driving in freezing conditions in a way that was not possible before. 


What are the proposal’s costs?

The idea is business proposal and stands as concept that needs to be prototyped. Snowrid is just a novel use of existing technology. So the development of the snow-rid would just involve adaptation of the existing technology for vehicles and hence a low risk proposition. 


Time line

We can develop a prototype in six months and file for a utility patent evolving the prototype during the winter testing. The expenses incurred will be about 80,000$ for securing patents, testing prototype, material from thermal pad manufactures and setting up a production unit.


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References