What’s next in personal transport?

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet this summer, you probably caught a glimpse of the Lexus Hoverboard (if you missed it, there’s a great report here).

Of course, it turned out to be a marketing stunt, and the real life application of the Lexus hoverboard is very limited. Based on maglev principles, it relies on a magnetic field to hover, so it will take a special track (or streets and sidewalks paved with magnets) to work.

 

Still, plenty of other interesting ideas are being tried and tested in the field of personal transportation. Here are two very different concepts that caught our attention.

 

Portable personal transportation – the WalkCar

“The world’s smallest electrical vehicle” is how Cocoa Motors describe their “WalkCar”. It’s based on a self-balancing, two-wheel design, with Segway-like steering (shifting your weight to change direction). And at the size of a laptop computer, it’s small enough to carry in a bag when not in use.

With a speed of 10 km/h and a range of around 12 km on a full charge, the WalkCar is probably more a substitute for walking than other kinds of motorized transportation. But its novelty will almost certainly ensure the WalkCar’s success, when it’s launched on Kickstarter in October.

 

Quadro – the Uber of the air?

While you won’t be cruising above the streets in the Quadro anytime soon, the concept is definitely an interesting new take on personal transportation. Dutch software developer, Thorstin Crijns, has set out to create a fully autonomous quadcopter.

The Quadro itself is a single-passenger aircraft powered and controlled by 20 rotors, and it’s meant to function completely without human intervention. The concept is like an Uber of the air: you’ll order a Quadro via an app on your smartphone, enter where you’re going, and a craft will pick you up and take you to your destination.

There’s a long way to go before we – if ever – will be getting around in something like the Quadro. But taking out the risk associated with human pilots seems an obvious way to go, if we want to take our daily commutes airborne. Read more about the project at quadrouas.nl.

 

 

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