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GasPods are designed to make driving less of a drag

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August 28, 2012

GasPods are tiny stick-on airfoils, designed to lower your vehicle's wind drag

GasPods are tiny stick-on airfoils, designed to lower your vehicle's wind drag

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Chances are, at some point you’ve seen vehicles that were designed with streamlined little knobs on their hoods or roofs, to improve their aerodynamics. While such features have been shown to work, they generally haven’t been available as an aftermarket product. Now, however, if you want those knobs on your car, you can have them – in the form of GasPods.

Essentially miniature air foils, the pods were created by American industrial designer Bob Evans, using computer-simulated wind tunnel tests conducted by “one of the world's most respected independent engineering firms.” Those tests reportedly indicated that a vehicle with ten of the GasPods placed along the rear edge of its roof would experience approximately a five percent reduction in its drag coefficient.

Additional savings could be gained by placing pods on the sides of the vehicle to either side of the back window, or on the hood below the windshield.

GasPods installed below the windshield and at the rear of a Volvo

Because different vehicles would likely benefit from different amounts of GasPods in different locations, one version of the product attaches to the car using padded rare earth magnets – in this way, users can experiment with moving them around to determine the optimum placement. Owners of cars with non-metallic body panels can opt for a permanent version, that attaches via automotive adhesive tape.

Evans is currently recruiting real-world testers, to report on how GasPods affect the mileage of their vehicles. If you just want to buy some, however, you can do that too. Prices range from US$29.95 for a set of three adhesive-backed pods in a stock color, up to $124.95 for a custom-painted set of nine magnetic pods.

Source: AeroHance

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
21 Comments

Users can experiment with their placement for optimum performance?? That's laughable!!! Unless they're testing it in a wind tunnel or other controlled environment, users won't have a clue whether one configuration is better than another. And why on earth have they placed them in front of the windshield? The point is to generate a vortex to help the air flow cleanly. Used in this way, the air will hit the windshield and immediately lose any benefitial effect of the pods.

Furthermore, I'd be very surprised if the fuel savings generated by the aerodynamic gains made by such a device would ever surpass the initial cost. This type of device serves a function on something like a Mitsubishi Evo, directing the airflow more effectively onto the rear wing, but on your average family car I have strong doubts as to their usefulness.

This type of device belongs on ricer cars, just behind the painted black hood.

OzJester
28th August, 2012 @ 05:07 pm PDT

Attached with padded rare earth magnets? Seems like an opportunity to get a free collection of these things to, well, I've no idea exactly what, but I'll start with the fridge. An aerodynamically justifiable fridge, ..at last.

Tests in windtunnels have shown... ...typically the model used in windtunnels studies is laminar airflow. In such a steady state you can introduce vortex generators and work out their effect on the flow. But, when you realise that common cars move almost all of their time in turbulent air, these things really make no sense.

bas
28th August, 2012 @ 06:24 pm PDT

Looking forward to beating up the first schlock who's car hurls one of these into my windshield.

And while I'm at it, I'll stuff him with all the other gimmicks that I'm sure he will have pimped his car with: some "magic gas saving additives", a "hydrogen generator", the inevitable gas-mizer aftermarket computerthing, and every book on the topic I will surely find on his passenger seat.

And then I'll show him how to ride a bike.

BeWalt
28th August, 2012 @ 09:10 pm PDT

VERY funny BeWalt! You know in my case by keeping my tires properly inflated, using synthetic oil, and the magnets on my fuel lines I get such good mileage I have to take some out every now and then? :-P

mrhuckfin
29th August, 2012 @ 04:27 am PDT

To me it looks like they are trying to use turbulators on a car. Turbulators work quite differently than vortex generators as the latter are placed on the leading edge and turbulators on the trailing edge.

The laminar flow around a car is quite limited though so I suppose these would work less good than turbulator tape on a glider wing but it might actually work if it reduces backdrag.

I have a friend that commutes 140km a day on a freeway and has a neat diagram over her l/100km consumption. I suppose she would be able to notice a 3, 4 or 5% difference and easily could figure out the best placement of these bumps on her car.

Conny Söre
29th August, 2012 @ 05:08 am PDT

This needs to be adapted for Commercial trucking. In a business where saving one penny per mile can amount to millions of dollars, this has vast potential.

The other advantage is that there's only one basic model for the back end of a trailer.

Matthew Bailey
29th August, 2012 @ 06:57 am PDT

I have been using "fuel fins" for the past few years which are similar to gas pods. I have placed farthings over the back tire area, partial farthings over the front (only about 2" wide or the tires will touch when turning), farthings on the sides between the tires (about 4" wide tapered near the tires which can touch when going over a hump if the car goes fast), a covering over the bottom part of the front windshield, a horizontal "V" shaped plastic in the front of the car to cut the air and I have drilled numerous holes in the back bumper to allow the air to pass through to prevent suction. My car is a 2003 Toyota Echo and I get about 50 mpg at 50-50 mph. If I lower my speed to about 45 mph, then my mpg increases. I made my farthings and "V" front bumper out of the sides of plastic containers. I placed the "fuel fins" on the top, sides and back trunk below the rear glass of the car.

Adrian Akau
29th August, 2012 @ 09:22 am PDT

I have seen similar little gizmos stuck on the back of small Japanese made hatchbacks... The only function claimed by one of the guys was that they covered up the original mounting holes for the stock rear spoiler that had been replaced with a more stylish JDM aftermarket spoiler.... A set of Moon Disk wheel covers or a Beatrush under panel would be more effective in reducing wind drag...

Warner DeFord
29th August, 2012 @ 09:37 am PDT

I see few places these will improve aero and almost all others it hurts aero. They are too thick, thus increase frontal area. One needs more, smaller ones to work best with the least drag.

One might use small toy magnetic checkers as well as these overpriced nubs and probably get a better result. Also a tape line kinda like a spoiler flap with the center stuck to itself and the edges on the car, with the flap going up to trip the airflow.

jerryd
29th August, 2012 @ 11:10 am PDT

Works best when used together with magnetic bracelets and frequency therapy devices.

sascha.kremers
29th August, 2012 @ 02:26 pm PDT

I have used votex generators for years [airtabs] and they work great better mileage better handling and better visabilitu in wet/ snow conditions. I even use votex generators on airplanes with great success welcome to the real world. They even keep the back of the vehicle cleaner.

lavaman
29th August, 2012 @ 05:55 pm PDT

Lavaman may well have half answered this already when he says " have used votex generators for years [airtabs] and they work great better mileage better handling..." suggesting that this type of device can improve the handling performance of a car. I was wondering if anyone knows whether it's possible for something like this to undermine the aerodynamic effects designed into the car by the manufacturer, reducing the handling performance as a result?

/\wkward /\ngle
30th August, 2012 @ 04:57 am PDT

Unbelievable. These are nothing more than fat versions of the vortex generators that have been around for years, and have been proven to help maintain laminar flow over aircraft wings, which reduces the wings stall speed and allows a higher angle of attack. I can't see a car going fast enough to get any benefit unless it was a regular autobahn traveller, and certainly not in this country. Did anyone research this beforehand ?

Martin Hone
30th August, 2012 @ 03:41 pm PDT

Martin - Shouldn't someone with your credentials take a look at the website before dishing? They are tested to be beneficial on a vehicle when traveling as slow as 35 mph. Of course, GasPods are researched. http://gaspods.com/gaspod-research.html and the research continues http://gaspods.com/gaspod-team.html, and will continue as long as I'm at the helm. GasPods are not vortex generators. They are airfoils, expanding the air. They are optimized to be the perfect size to do so without creating turbulence, eg., acting as vortex generators. Our Designer, Bob Evans, hit it right on the money, which was as much a surprise to the aeronautical engineers who ran the computational analysis (simulated wind tunnel tests), as it obviously will be to you, when you eat your words. Give us a call.

Susanne Chess
30th August, 2012 @ 07:44 pm PDT

If these catch on even in the slightest way, it won't belong before you can buy knock-offs for a few bucks each at your local auto parts store. And it won't be too long before spandex-clad bicycle riders (maybe including BeWalt) have them on their bike helmets hoping to reduce drag.

ron_
31st August, 2012 @ 01:51 pm PDT

Display name Ron was already taken - If I had a dollar for every time I was warned about being knocked off, I could just enjoy living on a private island. I've found a manufacturer within commuting distance of our offices in Santa Barbara, California, who has matched overseas prices, not only for production, but for fabrication of high volume production molds. Here's to bringing manufacturing back to North America.

Thank you, Ben, for helping us to get the word out and about.

Bob Evans
31st August, 2012 @ 09:06 pm PDT

LOL on this obvious scam. Good luck Susanne- NOT.

Frank Lee
1st September, 2012 @ 03:26 pm PDT

oftenly used a term in race car circles is Down force. it is the same as the lift observed by airplane wings, only it reacts to press down, instead of lifting up.aerodynamics has a very high level of importance in racing today.Mostly the street car although tends to put lift. This is due to the car body shape itself that makes a low pressure above itself.

Mike John
3rd September, 2012 @ 02:58 am PDT

Somewhat old hat.

If you look at a number of cars from the 1960s such as the Ford Capri and Cortina Mk III, you will see a small curved triangular piece of sheet metal riveted to the frame of the front door quarterlight.

These are vortex generators that massively reduce drag, improve stability and prevent the rear window popping out at speed by bleeding off the low pressure area over the car boot (trunk , for our US Cousins).

I have seen variants of this on various other cars such as small Peugeot hatchbacks too.

A study of a 1950s Citroen DS (so far ahead of its time that even Citroen haven't caught up with it yet) will reveal a number of ingenious aerodynamic tweaks.

Amazing stuff, aerodynamics.

Catweazle
3rd September, 2012 @ 05:36 am PDT

yep its old technology. i've seen similar turbulators fitted to kombis schoolbuses and trucks in an attempt to achieve laminar flow.

nutcase
3rd September, 2012 @ 10:44 pm PDT

This sound totally fishy. Kind of like the "vornado" product that supposedly spun the air going into your air intake to increase gas mileage. And the statement " users can experiment with moving them around to determine the optimum placement." made the product lose all credibility.

It may be based on science but (A) costs too much for something you have to stick on and experiment with, (B) has no proven track record or field testing by credible sources like NASA, Popular Mechanics, Car and Drive, etc. It's sounds like a great product to separate a fool from all of his un-aerodynamic money in his wallet.

RESISTANCE
28th March, 2013 @ 04:01 pm PDT
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