back to article Nissan builds twirly-cab sideways electric pod-car

Enormous Far-Eastern car firm Nissan has come out with some radical(ish) new ideas to tackle the leading cause of violent premature death in rich countries - which is car accidents (just in case you were thinking terrorism, crime, drugs, music piracy, malware or something). The crafty Japanese engineers also have plans for …


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  1. Frank Bough

    Open the pod bay doors please HAL.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blue Peter Did this years ago

    I'm pretty sure that in th elate 60s or early 70s there was an item on Blue Peter about a French car that did pretty much the same thing

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reduces road rage...

    ...but increases let's-beat-the-crap-out-of-the-smart-arse-with-the-stupid-car rage.

    And if I was driving one, i reckon i'd get uptight with the little moving robot head, especially if it said "calm down". "I am frikkin' calm, damnit!"

    Maybe I need some sedatives...

  4. Dave


    shame you wont be squeezing into tight spaces with that door opening about 5 ft infront of it....or if you turn the main bit the the side, im sure you'd meet a friendly tree / lamp post with your door, or if your lucky a passing cyclist or pedestrian

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Dr Jeep

    Ooooo, how to be... you can be that twat that parks in the space between cars that's there so the two cars can actually get out of their parking spaces...that Dusty Bin wannabe dashboard appendage is gonna get lots of use destressing those drivers when you do!

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Even with the wheels that turn 90 degrees still will stuff up parking.

    Yes, Yes, I know.. My coat is here somewhere.

  8. Ash

    Tomorrow's World

    I distinctly remember a car performing this exact same sideways parking on Tomorrow's World in the 90's, alongside a car with triangular wheels which could ascend stairs with ease.

  9. Uwe Dippel
    Thumb Up

    BMW Isetta, anyone ?

  10. Jason


    This can only end bad when you have PR like: "You can go everywhere without worrying about your driving skills." Makes me wonder what sort of nightmares we'll have to put up with once people who supposedly have no skills actually drive it (not that people with driving licenses are complete saints either).

    Road rage against other drivers might go down, but I can see the urge rising in ripping the head of that little nodding, smiling robot off each time it says: "It looks like you're trying to park your car. Would you like some help?"

    All joking aside, as a concept it looks good, if only the parking can work smoothly and efficiently, and if it can maintain a decent speed on motorways. I can see that people would get annoyed at being overtaken by something from Mario Kart (wheels as bubbles? Never mind...). I can't imagine what a high speed impact would do for the driver though...

  11. Chris Collins

    Babe magnet

    Clearly a babe magnet. Clarkson-esque knicker elastic snapping embodiment of throbbing manhood.

  12. Brian Miller

    BMW Isetta makes a comeback

    Well, it looks like the BMW Isetta et. al. are going to make a comeback! Looks like an Isetta crossed with children's toys.

    Actually, its a good thing that Nissan won't be releasing it. Do you how fast Linux would be loaded on that car and the robot would be playing Twisted Sister?

  13. Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    Good Lord

    Would it not just be quicker to walk? It's hardly going like a rocket is it? By the time the door had managed to open I could be halfway down the road.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: 'the word "podule" seems more appropriate'

    That's not a word.

    Where's the language nazi icon?

  15. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Down


    I just don't have the patience to stand 5sec in the rain seeing my car's front slowly-slowly open, and another 5 has you sitting there while it slowly-slowly closes. What's that gonna do to the anger-inducing cream fakeleather interior?

    Car doors should be smacked close, hard.

    Just get a mini (or a smart if you have to), and zip it in place in half the time.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    More crap to break.

    It already coste $7000 or more to fix their CVT transmission. look at all the little non-standard gizmos and bits that can break on this one. i wouldn't want to be rocketing along at 23MPH when the wheel decides to turn sideways.

    The car can be as "safe" as you like but when you get hit by some Cell phone wielding soccer mom in a yukon you will still be brown bread.

    not to mention. if the batteries "vent with flame" it will be a little bit worse than an ipod almost leg burn.

  17. gareth
    Paris Hilton

    batteries go bang


    yeah you definatly wouldn't want sony to make the batteries would you

  18. /\/\j17

    Nice Parking

    Wow, a car that can; stop, slowly turn it's body 90 degrees, then slowly turn it's wheels 90 degrees and squeeze in to a space... that anyone else would have just driven up to and parallel parked in in 20 seconds.

    Was hardly the smallest parking space known to man in the vid!

  19. Graham Newton

    Uh-oh... part 2

    "It looks like you're trying to park your car. Would you like some help?"


    "Tesburys do a GREAT discount when you buy 6 or more bottles of wine why don't you let me drive you there or should I just call the police?"

    "I don't think that crowbar will he...."

  20. Brett Brennan
    Paris Hilton

    A Disney movie is lurking in that car

    Lindsay Lohan, a down and out recovering alcoholic and former NASCAR queen discovers a Pivo in a junk yard, almost in the jaws of the crusher. She saves it, and the Pivo starts telling her the meaning of life, how to save her failing relationship with her boyfriend Herbie (played by Johnny Depp) and helps her return to NASCAR. Through a quirky rule loophole, Lindsay drives Pivo against the best of NASCAR in the crucial NEXTEL Cup challenge, and, through clever use of the twisty wheels and prescient watchfulness of Pivo, she wins. Baddies steal the Pivo to dissect it and learn its secrets, but Lindsay and Johnny come to its rescue moments before mad scientist Dr. Wheelie (played by Dean Karmen of SEGWAY) dumps Pivo's memory and discovers that his patents are hidden in the -er, kills Pivo. Lindsay turns over a new leaf and promises to never drink-drive again - unless she's driving Pivo.

    PLOT SPOILER - Pivo falls in love with a BMW Isetta who helps Lindsay and Johnny find him at the lair of Karmen.

  21. Richard Scratcher

    R2 that wing mirror's broken loose again, see if you can't lock it down..

    That video was hilarious! The car looked like one of Willy Wonka's inventions!

    "It's just an automobile"

    "No, it's a Wonkamobile!" (or variations on that spelling).

  22. JeffyPooh

    But but but...

    But if the wheels can turn like they do, then with a few more lines of code they could have turned the whole car on its vertical axis anyway just by turning the wheels into a circle. The rotating cab is nifty and neat, but almost totally unnecessary. I included the word 'almost' because a rotating square will be slightly larger than a non-rotating square. But hardly worth the extra trouble.

  23. Andy Silver badge

    Too much swivelling

    Since it can already turn all four wheels, what's the point of swivelling the body? It could just set all the wheels at 45 degrees and rotate about its own axis.


  24. Enno

    concept cars...

    So you guys realize that concept cars are not about getting new ideas/models out first right? They're for exploring design concepts... "If I build a podule putter with robo distractor on the dash, how many extra airbags will I need for the extra crashes?"

    Man and I worry about postits on my monitor distracting me and causing eye strain! ;-)


    (Oh and to the anonymous twat who said the French did it in 60s/70s... you do realize that Renault bought Nissan back when they were flirting with bankruptcy right? So still a French company technically. ;-)

  25. Colin Wilson

    As Dr Jeep says...

    *You* might be able to get in to a parking space, but the car either side of you is going to have to gently "shove" your new gadget out of the way to get out themselves. This will be neither use nor ornament to anyone unless all cars have the same facility.

    Why do you think it completely failed last time ?

  26. Morely Dotes
    Thumb Up


    I want to see video of the Sony battery burning the legs off that "Hello Kitty" model with 2-meter flames.

  27. Bryan B
    Paris Hilton

    It's a giant mobile can of beer!

    Talking of drink-driving and "You can go everywhere without worrying about your driving skills", I'm only slightly concerned that "Pivo" means "beer" in most of the Slavonic languages...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You can go everywhere without worrying about your driving skills."

    Once again Milton Keynes is the city of the future. Drivers round here have been doing that for years.

  29. Michael Leibensperger

    Pivo... where have I heard that word before?

    Oh yeah... It's the Czech word for "beer"!

    Jedne pivo prozim!

  30. Ash

    Parallel Parking


  31. Andrew Barratt
    Thumb Down

    Faster damnit little robot head make it go FASTER!

    mmm. looks like the slowest P.O.S. ever to be designed.

    Next to the Nissan GT-R its quite obvious who was designed by the we have to "tick boxes" brigade. The GT-R is the Nissan worth driving, 3.7l 450 horsepower who gives a shit about a car that takes that long to rotate its wheels. learn to parallel park its on the frickin test!

    That stupid little robot head looks as about as useful as MS Office's Clippy.

    " You look like you are about to drive... would you like some help.." NO SHIT SHERLOCK.. I'm in a CAR.

    You :- Where is the Car Park?

    TellyTuuby in front :- Did you say, How far is the Park?


    TellyTuuby in front:- I'm sorry I did not understand your last statement...

    You:- I wish this heap of junk had buttons...

    TellyTuuby in front :- Re-routing to shop with chocolate buttons.

    Who gets paid to come up with this sort of crap.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great name

    I guess it took many beer drinking sessions to come up with this great concept.

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Smallbrainfield
    Paris Hilton

    Clearly inspired by the Jonny Cab from Total Recall.

    That didn't fare too well against Arnie's road rage, did it?

  35. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    Have a nice day.... ARARGGGRGGGHHHH

  36. Laurie
    Dead Vulture

    Enough of this low tech old rubbish...

    ...Where the Hell's my flying car!

  37. anthony bingham

    desparate and dizzy

    I think they must have crossed the Styx and bumped into Ezekiel chapter 1 verses 15 - 20 All things are possible as long as you keep taking The Tablets!

  38. Jon Tocker


    "...should you be fleeing from the law and encounter a roadblock - to do any of those tricky handbrake turns, either. Just stop, spin and drive away."

    Looking at the traverse speed of that podule, I'd say it'd be best to stick with the handbrake turns and J-turns.

    I'm not a trained police marksman or combat-hardened soldier but I could easily shoot the driver 10 times in the time it would take to rotate the podule 180 degrees.

    With a bolt action.

    And stopping to change mags.

    Paris Hilton angle? This is just the sort of stupid shit she'd want as a status symbol and to get her name in the papers again.

    "Paris Hilton was again arrested for drunk driving when she was found driving her Nissan sideways through crowded Hollywood streets."

    'cept she'd probably want the next model - the "Vino" - because beer is not posh enough for her...

  39. Peter Johnstone


    Is this for real? Isn't pivo the word for beer in several Eastern European languages, such as Polish, Czeck, etc?

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