I agree. We as free people should make our own choices. If it were up to me, as an option, I would not buy airbags, the third (tail light) eye, ON Star, backup video camera, padded dash, nor low impact bumpers. I would however buy seat belts.
But I get no choice. I MUST purchase these things because my betters have mandated it so.
I drove Corvettes for years in Colorado with no insurance beyond liability. This drove my insurance agent nuts. I was willing to risk both my driving and the other drivers skills to keep these hotrods from getting torn up. I also drove custom bikes I built for myself, including the springer front ends that had no front wheel brakes. Maybe today they would not let me title homebuilts do to safety.
If we demand highway safety and reduce deaths, lets make everyone wear helmets and set the max speed limit to 10mph!
A car like this is probably dangerous in an accident situation and probably not useful for 30+ mile/hr speeds or driving in the country over rural roads. Also, how good is it on icy roads or on plowed snow? Obviously this kind of car is meant for city dwellers in warmer climates where snow and ice is no problem. But If I lived in a city I would use a bicycle instead and save the cost of parking, fuel, licensing and insurance. For infrequent use, it may also be more cost effective to rent a car than to own and maintain one in many of our larger cities
This brings back memories of my old Isetta, only it's a lot bigger. With all that glass, I wonder what it's mileage is when using the heater and air conditioner. It doesn't appear that the windows open.
Obesity, alcoholism and smoking may shorten your life down the road, but an unsafe car can kill you at any time. It's pretty much a given that each one of us will be involved in at least 2 serious car accidents during our lives assuming the first one doesn't kill us. So far, I've been a passenger in two such accidents and a driver in two. Only one was ruled my fault for being in the way. The worst injury I received was a stiff neck and a knot on my head. I wasn't just lucky, I was in safe cars.
Naperlou, In car design, safety is as important as YOU want it to be. And, as important is I want it to be. Just make it a CHOICE and we'll all be happy. As far as the design under discussion is concerned, I think its a bit gimicky and I'll be amazed if it appears on the market here. But I dearly want small, light, efficient, and Fun car designs to be available.
The author's concern about no secondary means of exit in this front door-only vehicle is valid. The only previous production car with this kind of door arrangement -- the 1950's Isetta (designed by Iso, & built by BMW and others) -- had a sunroof as standard for that reason. This car looks like a (fairly successful) design exercise to me, rather than a serious vehicle; the door is unwieldy for people to enter & exit (its primary function!), and its large size & weight mean that probably needs power assist just to open. While the independently-steered wheels are amusing, and DO provide the ability to get into tiny parking places, learning to use that function (and avoid abusing it) will take some training. Clearly this vehicle is not created for general use, particularly in the US. But it IS fun to see some different designs in small cars again.
Crash worthy is just a fad with political influence. People don't care that much about safety, otherwise, they would all be rushing to buy Volvo, Saab and Subaru. But none of those companies are that big.
Saab had such a strong roof that they don't even need roll cage for racing. Subaru is similar, and they did it with great visibility. Yet people didn't care. People don't even care that they can't really see out the back of their car because of the high waistline "styling". That is safety right there. They rather have a status car. Is nice to talk about crash worthy, but is just after the fact to justify the purchase of another car.
14 years ago on the school bus from my high school, I overheard some boys lusting over SUVs parked at the nearby parking lot; their first comments were how safe they would be compared to other cars. Since when do high school boys care about safety? As a society we are too paranoid about car safety. Why is this our societies first concern?
Those same boys smoked, drank, generally practiced unsafe behaviors, and one of them was very obese. So, those boys were a lot more likely to be injured or die from their other choices than from driving an unsafe car, yet that was their concern. Our society is obese which we all know increases our chances of having a stroke or heart attack. In fact chances of dying from stroke or heart attack are significantly higher than being killed in a vehicle accident. Why aren't more people concerned about their diets and activity levels rather than about car safety. Where is the consistency?
By the way when I was on the bus, I was drooling over the crotch rocket parked two bays down. Now I drive a motorcycle, bicycle, and a compact car.
ChasCahs and Tcrook, crash worthiness does matter. In fact, it is the most important thing we can look at. The fact is that automobile deaths far ourtweigh ALL other forms of accidential death, and things such as gun violence, by a very large number. I have had two accidents in a long career of driving. Both were caused by mechanical failures. The last one, where my car, a larger sedan, was hit by an SUV after going out of control resulted in both drivers walking away with nothing more than a small bruise becuase they were new cars that had lots of safety features. Both were totaled. Frankly, they probably could have been fixed, but it would cost more than the insured value of the vehicles.
I have also had motorcycles and small sports cars. They are fun, but the danger factor is always there.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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