As a challenge, English YouTuber and teacher Tom Scott proposed the company Sparkmate to build a car with a curious “inverted” design, where the pilot would have to go forward, but with his back turned. His idea was inspired by an old British children’s television show called Captain Scarlet, produced in the 1960s.
It featured a futuristic 10-wheeled vehicle called the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle (SPV) that was used by the heroes in search and attack missions. Among its features are a length of 7.6 meters and a maximum speed on land of 400 km/h (the car could also move on water).
But the detail about the SPV that caught little Scott’s attention the most while watching the show was the way the car handled. There was a huge screen for the driver to focus on and steer forward when it looked like he was going in reverse.
The YouTuber showed some scenes of Captain Scarlet to the folks at Sparkmate, who found the idea amusing and built a buggy based on this curious path. The creation took place at the company’s premises in Paris, and the result was carefully inspected by Scott.
Basically, the structure of the car was designed with two seats in the back and a huge monitor to capture what was captured by the front-mounted camera. For steering, acceleration and braking, an Xbox wireless controller is installed for the driver. Watch the video below and see how the YouTuber was impressed with the result:
The video has already reached over 1 million views, with plenty of comments attesting to its success. A lot of it is because the guy is driving the car forward as if it is going in reverse, because of the funny scenes. Maxime de Simone, co-founder and CEO of Sparkmate, explains that the work on “SPV” was based on the experience of driving a buggy as if it were in a video game.
With the right of the horn and a physical handbrake for emergencies, the car is piloted and reaches a very interesting top speed of 40 km/h (admittedly much less than the original SPV’s 400 km/h). Even so, there are seat belts for members, which is definitely a must considering Scott’s great difficulty with orientation while driving.
There are scenes for driving at night, for faster speeds – without much interference from the surrounding images, which is clearer for the driver during the day. A “flying joystick” is also used during the tests, which appears to help control the complex SPV.
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