In nearly every situation, visibility is a positive. For Elio Motors, the term “visibility” holds a double meaning. A significant piece to our overall vision has been to take our supporters and followers along on our journey to profoundly change the future of transportation. This journey has regularly included a look inside the process of bringing a groundbreaking new vehicle to market. Additionally, given our unique configuration, optimum visibility has been an important process in support of our safety tenet and a focus of our engineering and design teams. Today’s Momentum is a double serving of visibility: an inside look at our efforts to optimize the driver’s visibility in the Elio.
The overall Driver Ergonomics and Packing Study used by our engineering team evaluates many different aspects of the driver-vehicle interface. These include reach studies, clearance studies, as well as visibility studies. Additional in-depth studies of ergonomic areas have been completed to validate the design and layout of the vehicle. The Elio is designed to meet all comfort and interface metrics that are standard in automotive applications.
Many observers have noted that the cabin of the Elio is reminiscent of a cockpit. Our design allows for excellent frontward and side visibility. Our engineers have conducted a study of the instrument cluster to ensure that the cluster gauges and warning lights are sufficiently visible to the driver. The cluster study has validated the design. Additionally, the average driver can clearly view both front wheels while driving the Elio.
When the uninitiated look at our vehicle, they almost always notice that we do not use a rearview mirror/back glass. This observation inevitably leads to the question “How is the rearview visibility in the Elio?” Our size and configuration allows for the side mirrors to essentially cross right behind the rear of the vehicle. Without a rearview mirror, there is no need for back glass. With our tour vehicles, we have conducted anecdotal testing. For example, we have had an average sized adult male stand directly behind the vehicle to test the driver’s rear view. With the Elio’s design, the driver can clearly see the individual. Anecdotal evidence, however, is not enough for our engineering team.
When conducting a Mirror Study, our engineers found a longer than desired blind spot behind the vehicle. So, we created a new mirror mounting bracket that moved the mirror outboard and reduced the blind spots to a much smaller area. These changes have resulted in much better visibility, making the Elio’s rearview visibility better than most vehicles on the road today.
Backup cameras are an increasingly popular accessory and Elio owners who want to completely eliminate the small blind spot will be able to do so through our ePlus: My Elio, My Way option program. Along with many other options that we will announce leading up to the start of production, we plan on offering a rearview camera for full visibility.
Our engineers have conducted thousands of tests throughout the process to ensure that we will produce the best possible vehicle. Visibility, in terms of the Elio, is absolutely a positive.