15 October 2007
Wheels with a difference
Brian Micklethwait

During the summer I took a break from all blogging, but I have now resumed, chez moi and at Samizdata.  And I now resume here, with apologies for my prolonged absence, with a link to the transport gizmo that has most impressed me during the last few months.  I refer to the Nissan Pivo2.

You can’t understand the significance of this vehicle from still photos.  You have to see the video.  So, here it is:

Don’t let its Teletubby looks and that annoying monkey head computer fool you.  This remarkable vehicle embodies one of the most important advances in motoring, and especially in parking, that I have seen since the car itself was invented.

Just in case you didn’t get the video to work, or if you rely on words to find your way to interesting postings, I refer to the swivelling wheels.  These wheels are what every incompetent parker has always wanted.  You can just put it next to where you want to park it, and then tell it to swivel its wheels through ninety degrees.  Then you move sideways into the parking slot.  Even if other motorists park right next to you and leave you with only an inch of clearance at both ends, it’s no problem.  Swivel, sidle.  Swivel again, and drive away.  Brilliant.

I “designed” this vehicle in my head forty years ago, and my version looked uncannily like the Pivo2 does.

I’m guessing that what makes this concept possible is that small electric motors have got more powerful lately, to the point where you can have one for each wheel, plus another to swivel each wheel.  Plus, I’m guessing that car batteries are getting better all the time.  Or maybe Nissan just reckons that this is the way things are headed, and they want to be ready when they’ve got there.  But: don’t really know.  Comments?

  1. Nisan Pivo?  Outstanding.  I am sure that will sell very well in the central Europe as ‘Pivo’ means ‘Beer’ in all the Slavic languages I am familiar with.

    Posted by Perry de Havilland on  15 October 2007 at 05:10 pm

  2. “Open the pod bay doors please, monkey computer.”

    Posted by Highway on  16 October 2007 at 07:51 am

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