Next week, we're going to see all manner of crazy car concepts at the Geneva Auto Show. But I'm betting that the UC, by Rinspeed, will be the silliest by far.
Rinspeed is better known for creating custom-tuned hot rods, but they're changing tack with the UC. The main idea is for a small electric car with a 65-mile range, which will carry you around the city and plug-in for charging, so that you can hop onto public transport.
That's all dandy. But then it just gets goofy. The car has an onboard entertainment system--complete with a Twitter interface--for apparently letting your entire social network know that you take social networking way too seriously. Supposedly, the car is also designed to network with your phone or computer. It's also driven via joystick--like a videogame!
Is driving reall that boring, and the time away from the computer so painful, that anyone would actually want something like this? Eh, maybe so. I suppose that we're not the info-addicted tweens that this car is meant to excite. (A clue about the audience: When the car gets a scratch, there car color-coordinated "band-aids" for patching it up.)
A video--complete with awesome dudes skateboarding, brah!--brings home the ridiculousness of the concept:
Love the soundtrack, which has a hot guitar solo that sounds lifted from an After-School Special that aired in 1988. The real missed opportunity here is to think about the new ways that cars would play a part in our life--rather than to simply pile on techno-doodads that seem current. For a better example of this sort of experiment, check out MIT's City Car project.