while most comfortable, vehicles possible is the aim here. Users should be able to assume any posture which is their preference, from standing, to leaning, to sitting and recumbent. Also, the clear, outer, weather-protecting shell, must easily be partly, or entirely, rendered minimal, in accordance with the weather and desire for privacy. This is a low-speed vehicle, roughly the same as bicycles, 15-25 mph, most suitable for urban/suburban use. Multi-modality is optimal since it enables the most economical operation. A higher speed version, more suitable for less dense environs, presents a host of additional safety issues, which will, naturally, take more time to successfully resolve.
This is a serious matter but a case can be made regarding this process as similar to the one that motivated the creation of the Kinetic Sculpture Movement. It has been amply demonstrated that a human-powered vehicle, even without the added benefits of a solar/electric element, can be phenomenally efficient, while also being construed into an infinite variety of disguises and presentations. It can be a duck, or a fly, a mock Cadillac convertible or guided missile, and still function magnificently as a conveyance. It can also add a huge element of pleasurable whimsey and otherwise colorful creativity to grey concrete sidewalks and dark asphalt streets.
The surrender of our public space to oversized, dangerous, toxic, and homely machines has negated these spaces’ suitability for any other, more appropriate purposes. Recreation and relaxation, while surrounded by loud and ill-mannered devices, are impossible. Unless in a park or other designated space, the atmosphere is so obnoxious that only street workers, like deliverers, who must be there, regularly populate it. Urban spaces are becoming more and more congested, some impassable, and finding refuge from them by avoiding them, is the most popular remedy.
While people who must be there, like vendors working hard to make a living, are regarded as a nuisance, an array of obnoxious machines are welcomed to monopolize the space while pumping poisonous gases in their wakes, as long as they are a lubricant for profit-making, tax-generating activity. Given the current environmental catastrophe, they are also a clear threat to our future. Unmentioned and completely unacknowledged is the tremendous psychological damage caused by our submission to these constant assaults on our physical and mental health, without any measurable resistance.
Efforts to improve this situation must be urgent yet joyous. This does not involve anyone having to give up anything that they now utilize. To a society in the grip of various addictions, to ease, for instance, the threat of losing anything once possessed, would be fatal to the enterprise. This plan involves providing access, eventually to everyone, to an entirely new fleet of the most creative, fun, and efficient vehicles imaginable.
Fortunately, the result of this undertaking will be the diminution in the use of the ugly, uncomfortable and environmentally and psychologically damaging multi-ton monstrosities, which now fill our streets. This opportunity should serve to draw the attention and participation of many creative and caring individuals from everywhere, since virtually no developed places on this earth are free from the life, and injury-threatening impacts, of having to share their vital public spaces with endless marauding armies of treacherous machines. The talent that is needed to do the work is out there. It just needs to be aroused and focused on the task at hand, to save this planet, while having a wonderful time doing it.