almanac

Madison startup re-invents the wheel, disrupts auto industry

Madison-based startup company Squared revealed a cutting-edge innovation Monday which promises to disrupt the automotive industry on a scale unforeseen since Henry Ford unveiled the Model T in 1908. The new wheel is designed to optimize a number of inefficiencies and setbacks in the conventional wheel design, some of which harken back to the advent of the wheel itself in the Neolithic Age.

“When it comes to the wheel,” said Travis Matnick, a head designer for Squared, “not much thought is put into the traction coefficient beneath the wheel. But with a square design, the tire uses more surface area in contact with the ground, and the wheel outperforms its rounded counterparts.”

“I don’t understand the significance of traction and rotational forces with this design,” a mechanical engineering professor at UW-Madison said, as he pored over the blueprints. “These idiots literally made a square wheel, and it’s the most pointless thing I’ve ever seen.”

“The redefined parameters by which we designed this wheel allow for more efficient tire change, air fill, and storage,” a distribution manager at Squared said. “During our wind tunnel testing, puncture tests, and initial road runs, the new wheels outperformed conventional wheels by a factor of nine or 10.”

Proponents of the square wheel design argue that the new wheels encourage drivers to follow speed limits, use turn signals, and fasten seatbelts—as driving a convertible equipped with Squared wheels without a seat belt is likely to result in ejection from the vehicle.

“It is becoming clearer to us that the best option for the environment and economy comes in the form of square wheels, which encourage people to drive less and make the ride less comfortable while they do.”

Cars tested with engine outputs under 100 horsepower failed to turn the square wheels a single time. When asked about the exclusive power requirement to use the wheels, the engineers at Squared declined to comment.

“This design is the worst thing since blown tires,” a joint statement from Firestone, Goodyear, and Bridgestone said. “We sincerely hope America avoids this new product.”

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