Tuesday, August 28, 2007

GM's Three-Wheeled Runabout (1966)

The 1966 book Automobiles of the Future features these images of General Motor's Runabout concept car. Besides having three wheels it also features a built-in shopping cart that slides out of the trunk:
Two views of the GM three-wheeled Runabout. This car of tomorrow is fitted with two shopping carts that make up the car's trunk area. The experimental design has been operated with all-electronic controls in proving ground tests.

See also:
GM Car of the Future (1962)
Automobiles of the Future (1966)
Sports Car of Tomorrow (1966)
Magic Highway, U.S.A. (1958)
The Future World of Transportation


Bee said...
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runnerfrog said...

"Three wheels, made for the comfort of losing control of it and crashing in the highway, with shopping carts included for nicer disasters"...

Anonymous said...

In the event of sudden decelleration, the shopping cart wheels would deploy for added braking power and stability.

The best part would be having a shopping cart with a handle that's not covered with other people's hand-grease and homeless cooties. (It would just be covered with dead bugs, road grime and dirt instead!)

Anonymous said...

I think you are being very short-sighted. Where is the biggest bottleneck at the grocery store (or warehouse store, if any of you deign to live in the suburbs and, God forbid, have kids)? That's right, the checkout stand. While Walmart has been experimenting with RFID tags (and trust me, they're coming, like it or not) you still have to deal with the problem of bagging/boxing your groceries to get them out to the car and then home.

But not if you bring your own cart.

How hard would it be to design a cart with wheels like an ambulance gurney, so they fold up when you push the cart into the car, and fold down when you pull it out? Um, not hard. And sides that fold down when there's nothing in the cart? Piece of cake. Now you drive your godforesaken SUV or minivan to the store, pull our your cart, fill it up, walk straight out having been automatically charged for everything in your cart, wheel it into your car, and once you get home you wheel it straight into your kitchen or garage (wherever you store your food) to unload. No bags to clutter up the precious environment, no boxes to recycle, just the goods you purchased.

Gee, that would absolutely suck. What a terrible idea.