Illustration for article titled Nissan Pivo 3: A Pivo for production

Since 2005, the various iterations of the Nissan Pivo have been capturing the imaginations of people who find parking incredibly difficult by promising to do what no car has done before — rotate its wheels to crab into a parking space sideways, under automatic control. This Pivo 3 is the first concept to remotely resemble something that could actually go on-sale. Are you ready for the era of the sideways-driving car?


The Pivo 3's party trick are front and rear wheels that rotate, enabling a tiny 6.6-foot turning radius. That enables it to negotiate its way into tiny parallel parking spaces with unequaled aplomb. In-wheel electric motors free up space so literally the entire footprint is dedicated to passengers.

Those two attributes combine with a tiny overall size to deliver some genuine advantages in an urban environment. Concepts for passenger vehicles that are supposed to solve congestion or somehow be better able to navigate urban environments are a dime a dozen, but until this Pivo 3, we haven't actually seen one whose mechanical configuration would give it any advantages. Enthusiasts like us laugh, but ease of parking is a big deal to an awful lot of people and getting the depth perception-challenged masses to use limited space more efficiently will bring huge rewards in available parking to everyone.

Because this is still a concept car, there's ridiculously impractical (from a cost and maintenance standpoint) doors and some whizz bang technology that will never happen. Here, that takes the form of an ability to "talk" to city infrastructure. Instead of simply being crazy, that would involve the integration of electronic monitors in curbs and in parking spaces, signaling the presence and size of available parking spaces. Automatic Valet Parking would then park and charge the car (because in the future parking spaces have wireless charging) while the driver gets their hair fluffed or whatever it is future types do. Spiffy.

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