A YouTuber creates a car that drives backwards using televisions instead of a front window
YouTuber Tom Scott has fulfilled a childhood dream: driving backwards. Even if that means suffering the occasional accident…
It is curious to discover how, sometimes, genius is in the small details. And it is those little details that are remembered for a lifetime.
The Serie Captain Scarlet is a classic of British television from the 1960s. A wonderful television series shot solely with puppets and models, but with amazing detail and realism. Although her successor is better known, the thunderbirdsfrom which live-action movies have been made a few years ago.
Despite being a children’s series it has surprisingly complex and adult plots, so it has been broadcast in the UK for decades. Youtuber Tom Scott saw it as a child in the 90s, and was fascinated by a curious detail: one of the protagonist’s vehicles was driving backwards, looking at a television screen instead of the road.
It’s mindless driving, but a futuristic TV series can afford these things. However, for Tom Scott it is a doubt that he has been spinning in his head for 25 years: is it possible to drive backwards?
A youtuber with 5 million subscribers can afford certain things, like asking his Sparkmate friends to build him a car to drive backwardsnamely, looking at the rear window, while the car moves forward. And to get your bearings, a monitor showing the road ahead.
It is an unnatural system, because our brain goes crazy. The car moves forward but when we are sitting backwards, the brain detects that we are going backwards. And when driving backwards, turning right makes the car turn left, and vice versa.
Is it possible to drive like this? This video tries to find out:
As we see, the first version of the car uses an Xbox controller to drive, and it’s not very intuitive. Tom Scott is completely disoriented, and can barely go in a straight line, at very low speed.
They decide to change the gamepad for a video game flyer, and things improve. He is able to take some turns and gains confidence…until his brain tries to come back to reality, turns left when it should turn right, and has a little accident.
At the end of the video, after a few hours of practice, the youtuber is capable of going around a racing circuit, driving backwards with a screen.
So the answer that has tormented him since he was a child now has an answer: Yes, you can drive backwards, with a little practice.
A very funny video, and a hoot for the legendary Captain Scarlet series: they were right.