Sunday, November 30, 2008

'The Car That Makes Parking Easy'

A car which rotates 360 degrees and a driveable armchair are among the cars of the future now on display in London

The Nissan PIVO 2 can pivot on its wheels, meaning drivers never need reverse park again.
You simply drive into the space, turn the car around and drive straight out again.

Its designers have also added a built in pop-up robot to the dashboard which reads the facial expressions of the driver.

If the driver appears stressed or confused the robot will talk to them and offer advice.
And while this car is still only an idea, the team behind it believe it could provide a real insight into the future of road transport.

But if a rotating car still sounds like too much work, the Toyota i-REAL could be the answer.
Its manufacturers describe it as a new step in personal mobility - although to the untrained eye it's a motorised armchair.

Complete with a fingertip control panel, the i-REAL is designed to travel on roads and pavements. It also interacts with other i-REALS nearby.

Both vehicles are part of a new display of Japanese cars at the Science Museum in London.
The exhibition's curator, Kenya Hara, said: "Japan's cars have their own unique characteristics and individuality."

Other more practical designs include an electric car which can be charged overnight using a domestic plug.

After seven hours of charging the car can then be driven for about 100 miles.

Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect and designer, said: "Cars are not the only industry that represents Japan, but the one which best reflects Japanese society.

"Today Japanese car design also deeply relates to global environmental issues."

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