Cars make you fat. There they are, trapping you in a sealed can of transport convenience, littered with handy places in which to stow drinks and items of seemingly exclusively high-calorie food sold by unscrupulous roadside flab dealers.
And yet… what if you could do cardio while sitting in traffic? What if you could get fit while sitting down, fritter away a boring commute with 130bpm of heartrate, all without the need to wear unflattering lycra or expose yourself to actual weather?
Well, in an answer to a question literally no one asked, we present to you the FitCar PPV (pedal Powered Vehicle, duh). Which, in itself, isn’t actually a car. It’s a set of controls that allow you to convert your car’s throttle to pedal power. Seriously. The faster you pedal, the faster the car goes, while still being powered by the actual engine – the rate controlled by a set of electronics. Brakes are via adapted motability hand controls, and it only works on automatic cars, naturally.
The brainchild of Saudi-based inventor and complication-enthusiast Nasser Al Shawaf, along with Dutch engineering partner BPO, the idea is that the throttle pedal in any non-manual car can be replaced with pedals and a flywheel that produce an electronic pulse to work the accelerator.
You can choose from three driving modes: Drive Slow when in slow moving traffic, Drive Fast for pedalling down a motorway, and No Drive for stationary jams but you still want to continue with your solo spinning class. And you can alter the resistance according to how big you need to build your thighs.
The only problem is that this isn’t the work of a moment to convert from pedal car back to normal (they’re working on a fold-away system so that you can drive normally), and sometimes, you just don’t want to sweat through your commute.
Thing is, the idea isn’t necessarily a bad one – using commuting dead-time to exercise – but could you really see yourself using one? Or is this the walking desk of the automotive world?