30 October 2007

The Nissan 'Hokey-Pokey'?

From the LATimes on the Tokyo Motor Show:

Consider the Nissan PIVO2 on display here. It's an electric three-seat "city commute" vehicle (as opposed to a "Hollywood Freeway commute" vehicle) that is essentially a glass-and-metal bubble atop four small wheels.

Among the features: When you need to back up, rather than shifting into reverse, looking over your shoulder and inching into oncoming traffic, you wait while the cabin rotates 180 degrees and then drive straight ahead.

Hate to parallel park? Pull up next to that choice-but-tight space, rotate the cabin and all four wheels 90 degrees and proceed just as if you were pulling into your garage.

The PIVO2 also has a charming dashboard-mounted "robotic agent" that, according to Nissan's promotional brochure, "infers the driver's condition. It not only gives necessary information for the operation, but also speaks to you to cheer you up or to soothe you accordingly."

Shit, I've got the 'cheer you up and soothe you' feature in my '92 Dakota. It's called an 'Auto Suck' (video). It don't wanta talk afterwards, neither...

But seriously folks, I've always wanted an Isetta. Maybe this Nissan would do.


Under no circumstances should you attempt to use the Auto Suck in an old English sports car with a positive ground electrical system! Oh, it'll work, but in a strange manner that may be quite disconcerting at speed.

You may, of course, use the Lucas equivalent, the 'Nobber Bobber'.

Please don't ask how I discovered that. Let's just say our R & D department is on the job and let it go at that.

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