Invent the next great innovation in transportation technology, and you'll be living in a house made of platinum. The problem, of course, is that your innovation has to actually, you know, work. And not be utterly ridiculous.
For many decades, inventors have completely failed both of those criteria.
8Three Wheeled Vehicles
The design of a tricycle seems to be pretty good at keeping toddlers from falling off, so one would assume that it's a fairly stable system. So why haven't we seen more three wheeled vehicles made for adults, who are capable of spending way more money on ridiculous things?
Well for starters, here is the world's top selling three-wheeled vehicle, the Reliant Robin.
We're not engineers over here, but we're going to go out on a limb and say that taking a corner with just one wheel to balance all the weight on the front of your car ups the likelihood of tipping over and rolling down the street from "possible" to "guaranteed." And we're thinking the odds get worse the faster you go. Basically you can only drive the Robin slowly and in a straight line, so it's best not to purchase one unless all of your errands are directly in front of you and are never an emergency.
Another noteworthy attempt is the Sinclair C5, which we have to give credit to for sticking more closely to the classic tricycle in design.
The Sinclair is best described by the Sinclair C5: The Site for Sinclair C5 Enthusiasts Worldwide, which states, "The Sinclair C5 was a commercial disaster." This is the first line on the group's website after the name of the website itself. We can't imagine why.
Well, there's the fact that your body is exposed and that your head winds up right around the area where the grill of an SUV would be, so if you forget to check your blind spot and merge into a Chevy Suburban your skull might be torn from your shoulders. But other than that...
Though we can't mock it too hard, because apparently this open-vehicle concept is the future. Just look at...
7Toyota Personal Mobility Concepts
Toyota has grown into the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, so clearly the only market segment left to conquer is that of the future space wheelchair. From top to bottom we give you the i-unit, the i-swing and the i-REAL.
"The i-unit: Looking like the future has never been this not worth it."
"The i-Swing: You could probably pick up a very specific type of chick in this."
"The i-REAL: You'll wish your back was broken."
The i-REAL was slated for sale this year. As these products demonstrate, Toyota is gallantly ignoring all of the handicap ramps, chair lifts, curb lips and parking spaces in the world to operate under the assumption that motorized chairs are both practical and ideal.
Unfortunately for Toyota, the i-REAL has virtually no selling points. It's, what, a more comfortable Segway? A slow motorcycle that won't impress women? One of the only vehicles ever made that offers zero frontal protection for the driver?
Even its own product page can't really state anything other than "it exists."
It does have an embedded social networking system, allowing you to communicate with other i-REALs in the vicinity, but unless you're trying to coordinate a bank robbery with a group of lazy strangers we can't envision this ever being useful. And its maximum speed is only 20 mph, so really having a cellphone in your car provides pretty much the same exact experience as owning an i-REAL, only the car is infinitely more useful.
It looks like the ejection seat from the car we actually want.
Really, the whole concept of odd-numbered wheels just seems to turn people off. Of course, the most ridiculous expression of this idea is...