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The death of reverse gear

Cars are getting bigger and parking spaces are getting smaller, so what if instead of reversing out of a tiny space you could just rotate the cabin and drive out forward?

Nissan has developed a new concept car called the Pivo, which uses new ‘drive-by-wire’ technology to allow the forward-facing cabin to rotate 360 degrees in any direction, effectively eliminating the need to reverse.

Cameras mounted on the outside of each of the Pivo’s A-pillars feed an image of the Pivo's surroundings to screens mounted on the inside of the pillar. A screen on the dash generates a 360-degree view of the car’s surroundings, which are then processed into a bird’s-eye view. This way you can make sure you're not scraping the cars parked next you when you spin the cabin.

A dash-mounted infrared ‘commander’ allows drivers to operate the navigation system and audio system without taking an eye off the road or fumbling around for controls. It’s a new type of human-machine interface (HMI) that uses an infrared camera and Nissan’s ‘Magic 4’ concept. You point fingers at the infared commander to choose from any of four items on a menu. If you want item number three, hold up three fingers. Or, for example, if you want the music louder, just motion upwards with your hand.

The Pivo is powered by an electric engine and produces no emissions. Ok, so it looks fairly ridiculous, and the interior looks a bit like an Ann Summers party gone wrong, but Nissan says the technology tested here may make its way into future models.

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