The Urbee hybrid two-seater car has had a lot of media hype lately, largely because its body is manufactured using 3D printing (rapid prototyping). But its claims of high efficiency are due to the compactness and low aerodynamic drag of its body and its light weight. What is of interest here is the car uses a three-wheel chassis. The two front wheels are driven and the single-rear wheel does the steering.
Of course the most famous use of this wheel configuration was Richard Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller’s Dymaxion car of 1933.
Fuller didn’t arrive at this layout arbitrarily. He was trying to design an omnidirectional transport that could be used on land, in the water and in the air. As a result the wheel layout was identical to the tail-dragger approach common in aircraft of the day. Fuller envisioned that at high speed the rear wheel would lift off the ground and steering would be controlled by means other than the rear wheel. The body was intended to be essentially horizontal in this state and, as a result, the body has an upward-forward slant in its layout.
The typical design approach to remedy these problems is to make the steering kinematically neutral and provide a secondary means to cause the steered wheel to straighten when hands are off the steering.