Frank M. Rinderknecht — Swiss-born inventor, entrepreneur and founder of Rinspeed Inc. — always seems to debut something wacky and automotively fringe every year in Geneva, and this year was no different. Compared to the Rinspeed sQuba or Splash (or last year’s uber-useless iChange, the first car to be controlled by an iPhone), this year’s unveiling won’t turn as many heads as it only drives on land (booooring!), but it still has its own particular appeal. The two-seat electric drive concept UC (Urban Commuter) is actually designed for future production so it has to be more realistic. The idea is pairing the UC with public transportation, integrating it with a new rail car in which the UCs can be loaded and carried to their destination, then unloaded for short-range driving. While being transported, charging stations would deliver the UCs fully powered and ready to go. The ultimate goal being to reduce long distance driving, gridlock, rush hours and congestion in general, all while conserving significant energy. You could even buy train tickets from inside the car to save time. But that’s not where the innovation ends: the UC car is driven by a centrally positioned force-feedback joystick, meaning the vehicle can be driven from either seat — depending on whether the driver is right-handed or left-handed. Now I’m not so sure about the joystick steering wheel, but I do think the tight integration of automobile with public transportation would be an epic boom — significantly cutting down on rush hour gridlock and commute times while still providing people with the independence of a car. Nice one, Mr. Rinderknecht.

2 Responses to “World’s First Joystick-Driven Car Sure to Motivate Nerds to Finally Get Their Licenses”

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