Stage Coach

The concept

The main concept behind the Stagecoach was to blend modern technology with a traditional means of transportation. The 21st century Stagecoach is a perfect depiction of the two eras as it is still pulled by horses just like the old times, but has amazing high-tech features such as an electronic stability system, panoramic skylight, and a horse-driven power supply. I also planned to take the Stagecoach concept a step ahead by introducing a variant which would be controlled by a computer.

The background

A few months ago I was watching a TV show (I can’t remember if it was The Walking Dead or Games of Thrones), and I was thinking to myself, what would happen if there was a worldwide fuel shortage. Given the economic conditions (i.e. fragility) of the world today, there might come a time when it actually happens. So while I was thinking about it, the concept of the Stagecoach hit my mind.  No matter how much shortage of fuel and gasoline we face, we would still have an alternative to use: Good old horsepower.

How it works

The idea seemed so interesting that I couldn’t stop myself from indulging in the creation of a modern Stagecoach pulled by horses. And when I say modern, I mean a Stagecoach with composite body panels, alloy frame, a multi-purpose roof rack, panoramic windows, digital disk brakes, comfort harness for the horses with sensory feedback and lights attached to them.

Once the idea materialized in my mind, I rapidly moved on to my first concern: How would the new Stagecoach electric system work? If economic conditions collapse, horses will most probably become more and more available but fuel will be scarce. So I added two high-output 250-amp alternators connected to each of the transaxles (similar to bicycle dynamos but much more powerful). Their power could be lower depending on the electric features of the Stagecoach (Sound system? Fans? AC ?). Up to four deep-cycle, military-grade batteries would be used to store energy and provide electricity when the Stagecoach remains idle. In order to carry six passengers along on various types of roads, the Stagecoach would be equipped with a good suspension and big metal-alloy spoke wheels. Not only will the rims improve the overall look of the Stagecoach but will also improve its performance and durability.

Other essential components include run-flat rubber tires, independent suspension, and disk brakes on all four wheels, four-wheel electric power steering, a door which opens upwards and has drop-down stairs, tinted power windows, a stability-control system that prevents rollovers, a quick disconnect system from the horses in case of emergency, a body made of light insulated plastic panels, an optional propane heater for colder climates, an optional A/C  system powered by the transaxle (Radiator pump and fan), a spacious rear trunk, roof rack for additional luggage, and optional solar panels to recharge batteries.

I hesitated to include a fully enclosed cockpit because it will probably complicate things to handle the horses. So it should probably be an optional feature or a convertible canopy. The Stagecoach should be engineered to last over 25 years, and it should cost less than $25 000 (Of course, it all depends on production volume, what it includes, and where it’s manufactured). It would need to be sturdy, easily serviceable with off-the-shelf parts, meaning alternators, radiators, batteries, window motors, and suspension parts would come from existing vehicles. (No development)

What it’s used for

The Stagecoach could be used for several purposes like visiting the countryside with your family. Used on ranches, large properties, or as a tourist attraction/cruise ship expeditions. In another scenario, it could become a means of transportation where no gasoline is available or wanted.

The designer

I would like to thank Brian Ross Miller who created the images of the Stagecoach. Brian is a freelance product designer based in Denver, Colorado. Brian also created the renderings of the Fireliner.