Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Radically New Vehicle

Space-Age Wheels

I’m often drawn to radically new and different vehicles, whether personal vehicles like the Segway or X-Prize-winning civilian space flight vehicles.

San Francisco-based Lit Motors is reportedly developing a really interesting new vehicle. It's a gyroscope-stabilized enclosed electric two-wheeler. Or to put it another way, it’s a motorcycle with a roof and walls and it doesn’t get knocked over very easily. It’ll even stay upright on its own when stopped.

According to Gizmag the C1, still in concept stages, is being developed by industrial designer Daniel Kim with some design assistance from the MIT Media Lab. Prototypes are in the works, and plans call for production vehicles to be available at a price of between $16,000 and $24,000 by 2013 or 2014.

The vehicle would have advanced concepts, including the ability to use power that would otherwise be lost to braking to be put to productive use in driving the flywheels. In addition to providing stability, those flywheels will also deliver power back to the drivetrain when the vehicle is accelerating, resulting in improved efficiency.

Does this look like the future? Does it look like a vehicle you’d want to use? Leave a comment and let us know.

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