Get to Know the Man Behind the Omni Wheel, William Liddiard
While it isn't the first of its kind, William Liddiard's Omni Wheel is a sleek new solution to parallel parking, with even more potential for the future.
Since there’s no way to drift inside of a driveway, (technically, yet) the image you see above can only be explained in one way: the wheels are moving the car, but they’re not moving “forward” or “backward.” The concept of an omni-directional wheel isn’t exactly new, since several tires like this exist specifically for construction vehicles that need to move in specific ways, but this particular model stands out for quite a few reasons.
One of them, according to their inventor William Liddiard, is the fact that his tires are “stand alone” and can be put onto any kind of vehicle that is the right size. They’re sleek, stylish, and meant to be used as any tire, Liddiard said, “except that they can move sideways when needed.”
Liddiard, who spoke with Inverse on Wednesday, is a transport truck driver based out of London. He is also at the forefront of Liddiard Wheels and says that he’s been working on this particular project for three years. The tire first debuted in March through the London Free Press, but now, it’s ready for the road.
The sense of pride in his work so far shines through the inventor in his words. “Everyone I know is amazed by my accomplishment,” Liddiard says, explaining that he has actually been preparing to create his omni wheel for eight obsessive years. It’s been rightfully obtained and has quite a bit of potential when considering future models for larger vehicles. What’s more, the age-old hate that exists between meter maids and drivers is at an all-time high in cities like San Francisco, so anything to help people park a little bit better could go a long way.
“I would like to see [the wheels] used in every market,” says Liddiard. “Beginning with material handling, mobile robotics, personal mobility, autonomous cars among others.” As for taking the product to market, Liddiard is more than ready. “I will never quit,” he says. “Ultimately I will bring this to market myself or a suitable company can obtain rights to it.”
The wheel has incredible market potential due to its compact design and the capability to be used on several different kinds of vehicles. This bodes well for the future of transportation, where other companies are currently racing to make the ultimate elf-driving car. With the extra mobility of Liddiard’s wheels, as well as the ability to park without any trouble, these wheels have serious potential to move forward to a retail level.