SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Self-propelling car. Historical artwork of a design for a self-moving or automotive car by the Italian artist, engineer and scientist Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). This design is believed to date from 1478, and shows a sketch of the vehicle (top) and a more detailed plan of its inner workings (bottom). It used a series of geared wheels and leaf springs to propel itself along. A team of Italian scientists constructed a working wooden model based on this plan in Florence in 2004. This drawing was included in the Codex Atlanticus, a collection of Leonardo's drawings compiled at the end of the sixteenth century by the sculptor Pompeo Leoni from original notebooks.
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