On Thursday, Britain's first autonomous shuttle launched in Cambridge, where it toured the university campus as part of its first tests. Yet (greatness of the future!), It is not the autonomous driving of this shuttle that is causing the most stir. In a world where you get used to everything, that is an already almost acquired fact. What makes a sensation is the appearance: guys, this shuttle is as bad as a terrible pain in a molar on a Saturday night.
Doesn't it remind you of one of those ugly insects with their corresponding ugly exoskeleton? Or maybe a bad, pissed-off Transformer? The Union Jack painted on the body, however, does not favor the harmony of the whole.
Yes, this shuttle is a horror.
And apparently I'm not the only one to have noticed! On Twitter it is all a flood of horrified comments among the followers of the various accounts of the Greater Cambridge Partnership.
Among the most flattering ones:
It looks like it has already crashed - GoonerWA (@ Zimex15) 28 Maggio 2021
Could they have chosen a less "busy" paint job? It's a shuttle, not a Great War battleship - Dave Lauchlan (@davelauchlan) 28 Maggio 2021
It looks like an angry Pokemon. - (@ Peradventur3) 27 Maggio 2021
Ugly and dangerous?
Of course, the nose of the shuttle is as visually appealing as a punch with a brass knuckle, but it must be said that its design is also criticized for how potentially dangerous it is.
So when it inevitably hits you, it tears you into so many pieces that you don't have to suffer looking at it anymore - (@ SecretTeacher93) 27 Maggio 2021
People talk about painting the shuttle, but what I find nice is that they made it safer by making all the edges on the front sharp. - (@ lukecole78) 28 Maggio 2021
A few details of the shuttle, apart from that
The self-driving, fully electric shuttle was developed by the engineering company Aurrigo. It can travel at speeds of up to 32 kilometers (20 miles) per hour and has a range of 160 kilometers (200 miles). It can carry 10 passengers in one trip.
In these early stages, even if the shuttle is capable of driving on its own, security operators will be behind the wheel to take control at any time if necessary. The self-driving buses will follow regular traffic and their trials will begin in June.
Ultimately, this is a promising initiative for the UK to incorporate autonomous technology into its public transport system and I shouldn't be so childish judging the aesthetic. Unfortunately, however, I work in advertising and for me this is an important issue also in the diffusion of a more conciliatory culture with these new technologies.