[extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Tue May 24 05:51:46 UTC 2005

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of "Hal Finney"
> Subject: RE: [extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future
> Spike writes:
> > ...
> > four wheeled cowperson vehicle is a quarter of that: a
> > quarter of a ton, one cylinder, 500 cc displacement.  The
> > rolling resistance should be about a quarter as much.
> >
> ZAP has some cars along these lines, a little bigger though.
> http://www.zapworld.com/cars/smartCar.asp is the SMART which seats 2
> and has "taken Europe by storm".  But it weighs 1588 pounds and they
> don't give a mileage figure, probably for legal reasons...

Ja, I saw one of these on ER a couple weeks ago.  Dr. Carter's
sweetheart drove one in Paris.  I still like the notion of
a one-seater that is straddled like a motorcycle, with
handlebars.  (Dr. Carter's sweetheart is such a babe, is
she not?)  

What I have in mind would be a greatly simplified version
of that SMART, with no A/C or goodies, a 20 HP single instead
of that 60 HP triple, perhaps a true series hybrid.  Of course
you would have crummy performance, but that is my point of posting.
If we find ourselves in a world in which oil production peaks
while there is greatly increasing demand for oil in China and
India, it does not mean we suddenly go back to the horse and
buggy.  It means we drive really small cars with way fewer
luxuries and more danger.  But that is OK really, because
we have now ways of cutting back on the number of trips
we need to make.

I have in mind that these little single cylinder cowperson
vehicles or SMARTs could be run on alcohol, or some mixture
of alcohol and gasoline.  These little buggies can be stamped
out cheaply in large quantities, they are super simple to
repair and maintain.

> One of the big issues is safety, they have quite a bit on their SMART
> car page about how the car is really safe.  People worry about what will
> happen if they tangle with an SUV.
> Hal

I don't worry about that, I already know.  You die.  We motorcycles
know all about that.  Definitely a drawback.  Death way sucks.


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