Sorry, nothing needlessly disgusting from the Japanese today?unless you count this super-cute, super-compact car as disgusting. With its adorable, talking robot head mounted on the dashboard, it certainly gets close to disgustingly cute, but, unfortunately, it’s kind of useful, too.
The Nissan Pivo 2 electric concept car runs entirely on advanced compact lithium-ion batteries and boasts a rotating cabin – doing away with the need for a reverse gear. The Pivo 2 comes with a highly innovative Robotic Agent that enables you to carry out conversations in either Japanese or English should you be traveling alone. A unique interface makes it easy to communicate with the Pivo 2 including basic vehicle functions and the nearest available parking. Those who hate parallel parking can get off scot-free this time with the Pivo 2 since each wheel can turn through 90 degrees, letting you drive sideways like a crab.
I promise you Nissan’s going to sell a million of these in Japan, mostly to women who will adorn them with glitter and Hello Kitty stickers and the like, but also to men who have contemplated suicide after trying to parallel park in Tokyo. Thanks to uncle Jesse for the tip.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.