Nissan Pivo 2 Concept Car With R2D2 Companion Robot
Nissan's Pivo 2 concept car is thoroughly futuristic - it can move in any direction, so reverse gear isn't even needed. And it comes with a friend!
(Skip to 2:20 to see Companion of Pivo 2 concept car)
If you think you've seen tire scrub, you haven't seen this car switch from forward to sideways (see above video).
Adding to the fun, a little robotic companion embedded in the dashboard keeps an eye on the driver; its camera loads up on digital pictures of the driver, and analyzes them for signs of driver drowsiness.
In a recent test drive, it said "You look tired. There's a coffee shop 500 metres ahead on the left" to a driver with droopy eyelids. It also encourages drivers to fight road rage (by its outrageous cuteness, apparently). This sounds like much more fun than the
Buddy On Demand Inflatable Friend To Women Drivers introduced last year by British insurers.
If you have trouble with being sleepy behind the wheel, you might also take a look at the
Car Seat Prototype Knows When You Are Sleepy.
I can't really find a science-fictional precursor to this vehicle; robots in cars typically drive the car (see the
Robot Cab Driver from Philip K. Dick's story A Present for Pat).
Somehow I missed this reference; Luke Skywalker never flew his x-wing without his faithful droid - see Update 07-Oct-2007: R2D2.
(R2D2 helps Luke Skywalker)
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