We are all, collectively, so aware that there is a worldwide problem when it comes to traffic that any fancy, improbable solution can become a viral hit in the blink of an eye. There was the bus that straddles traffic. Flying cars that plug into drones. Maglev pods. But none of those go quite as far as what Russian design firm Dahir Insaat has cooked up in a new video.
The crux of the video is that one potential solution to traffic-choked cities could be big, room-sized vehicles with a ride height that goes over the cars on the road. But they would still have wheels on the ground — they would just use massive gyroscopes to stabilize the whole structure. You know, like a giant spinning top that you can ride in, which is also able to deftly slice through congestion without crashing into any other cars.
Inside of each of these vehicles, you’ll find different takes on the same kinds of ideas we’re seeing proposed for autonomous cars. Some are just standard airplane-style seating, while others suggest luxury rides, including space for lounges or salons.
I’m not trying to argue for or against the physics or the feasibility of this idea. It’s pretty clear that, should it idea ever actually make any practical sense, there’s a million reasons why it wouldn’t actually work. What I am interested in is the way the video accelerates in absurdity. Because, like BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos, it’s built for virality.
With the brief explanation of the gyroscopic vehicle out of the way, Dahir Insaat introduces the idea of using the technology for emergency vehicles, like a fire truck — the idea being, of course, that normal fire trucks can lose precious minutes of response time while stuck in traffic.
Simple enough, right? But then the fictional fire truck arrives at the scene and — since it’s apparently too lithe to contain the plumbing necessary to hook into the city’s water supply, I guess? — a firefighting drone emerges from inside the vehicle.
While firefighting drones are, amazingly, not a new idea, this one is much more extreme than anything else we’ve seen. The drone uses 20 rotors to lift two firefighters up to the scene of the blaze where they drop balls of “fire extinguishing powder” into canons to extinguish the flames. Why there are humans involved in operating a icosacopter, or its futuristic fire extinguishing tech, is well beyond me, but damn if it doesn’t make for another fantastic GIF.
Last but oh-so-certainly-not-least, the firefighting drone has its own gangway that can extend outward, providing an escape route for people who have been stranded by the catastrophe.
Dahir Semenov, the inventor behind Dahir Insaat, has an apparently long history of ludicrously futuristic ideas, ranging from underground delivery systems to a flying monorail. In that context, the future of gyroscopic transportation maybe doesn’t look so crazy. Instead, it’s apparently only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to futuristic transportation porn.