Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

The Overdrive truck: Able to move in any direction

Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The Overdrive is an eight-wheel-drive, futuristic shipping truck that doesn't require a driver. Featuring an electric engine like one you'd find on a commuter train, this vehicle could potentially be called the Zero Emission Truck. The Overdrive is equipped with eight independent cargo spaces that can be opened with a smart phone to deliver your goods. The vehicle aims to bring new ideas to the traditional shipping industry and to change the way we interact with it.

Story continues below advertisement

The background

In North America, the maximum allowable size for a truck is 102 inches wide by 102 inches high. With these fixed dimensions, the aim with The Overdrive is a smooth, aerodynamic vehicle that would make it easier for companies and individuals to load or unload by hand, or use a forklift, and to remove the need for a loading dock. It's able to move in any direction, including sideways, so it can manoeuvre into tight spots where today's trucks can't venture. The Overdrive has multiple doors for increased security.

How it works

There are two quiet fuel cells located at either end, backing each other up, balancing the vehicle and doubling its total power, which can range from 500 to 1,000 horsepower. These fuel cells could use hydrogen or gasoline to generate electricity for the two powerful electric motors located in each bogie. The Overdrive would save up to 25 per cent of its energy by utilizing regenerative braking and saving additional percentage with its smart wheel covers, which would slide down automatically when driving on the highway.

Each wheel of The Overdrive could steer like the front of any truck. The bogie assembly could also pivot, making it possible for the vehicle to move sideways. This feature would come in handy for parking on dense urban streets. If the operator only needs to serve industrial parks, the option can be removed.

The Overdrive, as envisioned by Jorge Jabor, who is based out of Sao Paolo. Jorge Jabor  

What it's used for

Story continues below advertisement

The Overdrive will transport cargo, like the current trucks of its kind, except this one is automated, it will not pollute the atmosphere and it is much quieter. You could order a shipment, for example, and The Overdrive would automatically swing by your house to pick up the package, opening the appropriate cargo and sub-space by communicating with your smart phone. The Overdrive could be downsized for commercial trucking in urban areas, or even be made larger for intercity travel.

The Overdrive, as envisioned by Jorge Jabor, who is based out of Sao Paolo. Jorge Jabor  

The design

The Overdrive image was designed by Jorge Jabor, who is based out of Sao Paolo. We used some lines from Bombardier Transportation, digging deeper into the project the more we began working on it.

Charles Bombardier is a member of the family that owns Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which are in the business of designing and manufacturing vehicles. Mr. Bombardier left BRP in 2006 to work on his own ventures, and in March, 2013 he began to create his own concept vehicles and publish them on his website.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at

Story continues below advertisement

Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.

Add us to your circles.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨