Geneva Motor Show 2011: Tata tackles the parking problem

As widely predicted, Tata Motors debuted a new city car concept designed for the European market at the Geneva Motor Show, but in contrast to previous years, it's the technology, not the price, which has been earning it headlines.

Tata Motors is known for making the Nano, billed as the world's cheapest car, which has been hit by a series of negative stories and safety scares over the past year, but the ingenuity of its new Pixel concept could go some way towards restoring the damage.

The Pixel is based on the Nano but has been treated to a serious facelift, with a voice-activated control system, space for four adults and a new, sweeping roof providing plenty of light.

The most interesting part about the Pixel, however, is something that Tata calls "Zero Turn" drive - the ability of the two rear wheels to turn in opposite directions to each other in low-speed maneuvers.

The technology is known as an Infinitely Variable Transmission and, when combined with the angling of the front two tires, give the car the ability to turn almost on the spot, potentially making it invaluable in the city.

When reversing into a space, the driver can simply swing the front end of the car into position as if on a pinhead at the rear, keeping an eye out for potential obstructions using the scissor doors which give added visibility.

Finding somewhere to easily park is one of the biggest concerns for urban drivers and with the growing number of cars it's set to get worse, making it something that automakers are keen to address.

Smart garnered a lot of attention when it pointed out that its tiny Fortwo could be parked in a perpendicular fashion in car bays - could Tata's new technology prove equally helpful in solving the parking problem?

See the Pixel parking at the website: http://www.tatapixel.com/

The Geneva Motor Show is open to the public March 3 - 13 in Geneva, Switzerland.

http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/

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