Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Inflatable Car

Soft, spongy cars would prevent injury to occupants, pedestrians, stray cows...
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When you're not using it you just let the compressed air out of it and fold it into a briefcase (saves space in cities normally reserved for carparks and compressed air is much more PC than compressed CO2).

"How is it driven?" I hear you ask. The fabric from which it's made is covered entirely in flexible photovoltaic cells driving incredibly compact, powerful electric motors geared directly to 3 thin, inflatable wheels in a reverse trike format, 2x frontdrive, 1x reardrive & steer.

Roadholding provided by ground effect suction (baked in F1 years ago)

For nighttime usage a number of thin capacitors are interleaved with insulation in the inflatable skin.

Just think of a mobile Jumping Castle.

(Reposted with the kind permission of UB Archival Services. Originally posted 29 Mar 2001.)

UnaBubba, Feb 06 2013

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       Maybe. I can envisage that turning the driver's compartment into a flail and beating you repeatedly against the ground.
UnaBubba, Feb 06 2013
  

       I'm afraid driving //soft, spongy cars// would probably be too tempting for some (ok, most) drivers, whose driving skill level would instantly deteriorate to *bumper car*.   

       And although this might be hilarious to watch, rush hour would be turned into a complete nightmare as drivers go out of their way trying to bump other cars instead of driving directly to work.
Canuck, Feb 06 2013
  

       Why do they need to go directly to work, [Canuck]?
UnaBubba, Feb 06 2013
  

       Onstar - Hello, what's your emergency?   

       Driver - I have a flat   

       Onstar - Do you have a spare tire?   

       Driver - No, a flat car. I think I blew out my quarter panel.
evilpenguin, Feb 06 2013
  

       Simple enough to fix, [EP]. Just a patch and a can of compressed air to reinflate the panel.
UnaBubba, Feb 06 2013
  

       Is this thing amphibious? That would come in handy when it gets blown off a bridge with a steel grate driving surface.
evilpenguin, Feb 07 2013
  

       Well, it would float.
UnaBubba, Feb 07 2013
  

       // Why do they need to go directly to work?// Sorry, I presumed it would be understood that when people drive in rush hour traffic, half of the time they are driving to work in order to earn money so they can afford to pay for their inflatable car.   

       Are we OK now, or do I need to explain rush hour traffic as well?
Canuck, Feb 07 2013
  

       I know all about rush hour. However, I'd be prepared to leave early if I got to play dodgems on the way to work.
UnaBubba, Feb 09 2013
  
      
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