Feeds

Manufacturers testing wider cars for swingbellies

Broad in the beam? Get a Beemer

Security for virtualized datacentres

Luxury car makers BMW and Porsche are trialling extra wide cars in order to cater for the growing backsides of their customers.

As their clientele's contact zones increase the manufacturers aren't just making the seats wider, they're making the whole car wider. BMW were revealed to be running tests on making cars more comfortable for fatties - getting 800 volunteers from thin to podgy to use cars checking for how fatness affected a driver's ability to look rearwards and how easy it is to get in and out of cars. The Telegraph reports that the strategy is called Plump My Ride.

Car size has steadily increased over the decades: iol Motoring notes an girth increase of 25% over the years in a standard Ford. In 1953, a Ford Prefect was 1450mm wide, 2011's Ford Focus is 1850mm. Ford seat cushions have stretched too from 460mm long in 1953 to 580mm in 2011.

"People are getting more obese and we want to find out how that limits their range of motion and how our vehicles can adapt to the changing needs of our customers,” Ralf Kaiser, a member of BMW's ergonomics team, told the Sunday Times. “We know that a lot of overweight and obese people have problems in daily life, and in the car this starts with getting in and getting out."

Other luxury car makers have reportedly been making adaptations for the chunkier customer too - including reinforced grab handles on Mercedes, and larger dashboard buttons on Hondas intended to make it easier for people with fat fingers to operate the radio controls. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.