Most cars have faces, and I'm not quite sure what to think of the smug one on the front of this Fiat 126-based concept car designed by Richard Sapper.
It tries to address the same thing most safety advocates do: make cars safer, both inside and out. Airbags, bumpers, third brake lights—you name it. And so this little Fiat has been given a plastic diaper that runs around its body. But the little slit under its headlights gives its face a weirdly smug look.
The diaper was to allow the car to survive collisions of up to 20 km/h without significant damage—as close to a motorized Nerf ball you'll find. That's pretty cool, but crashing isn't exactly the most fun thing to do. A highly-respected designer, Sapper was able to do something new: give a car a flexible skin. Not movable, like BMW's Gina concept, mind you, but soft, and friendly…like a big kid's toy. Merp.
Anyway, back to safety. Don't address the car, address the driver. Turning people into better drivers has numerous benefits, but we may be too late: the stats show that driverless cars are already safer in many conditions than the average driver is. Look on the bright side, though: maybe if we know our driverless cars won't crash, we'll be able to remove all of the safety devices we've mandated to keep us "safer".