• Symetrical Pivo features revolving cabin
• Drive-by-wire controls
• Similar in size to tiny Smart Fortwo
The Tokyo Motor Show must be just around the corner, because Nissan has just unveiled a three-seater electric car with a revolving egg-shaped cabin. It’s called the Pivo.
Only marginally longer than the pint-sized Smart Fortwo, the Pivo city car accommodates three abreast, the driver sitting between, and slightly forward of, two passengers.
The cabin is accessed by a pair of tall electrically sliding doors, and can rotate through 180 degrees so the car is easier to squeeze into tight city centre spaces.
While the spinning cabin is unlikely to appear on a production car, there are technological elements in the Pivo that are being developed for future Nissans.
The rotating cabin, for instance, is only possible through the use of drive-by-wire controls for the steering, brake and gearbox.
Every manufacturer is working on similar systems as one of the best ways to reduce the weight of cars and help them meet ever more stringent fuel economy and emissions targets.
The Pivo also has four cameras that provide an overhead image of the car and its surroundings on a screen. Nissan is already working on this for production cars and is likely to use it first on Infiniti luxury models which could go on sale in the UK by 2008. It will help to overcome the blind spots that have resulted from the pillars of cars getting thicker to meet tougher crash-test standards.
Lastly, there’s the infra-red Magic 4 system which allows occupants to control the stereo and satellite-navigation simply by making hand gestures.
• We'll bring you a report from the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday 19 October.
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