After spending five years in development, a new Estonian-designed electric scooter was launched on September 20 at the 1,000 Pionniers event in Paris. The Stigo has a top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph) and a range of up to 40 km (25 miles) per charge, and is folded up and ready to roll in just two seconds.
Although it’s the major automotive manufacturers and their no-expense-spared world premieres that dominate IAA, German company S-Walker is holding a somewhat smaller-scale world premiere for its S-Walker Board. Combining aspects of a Segway, a skateboard and a balance board, the two-wheeled electric vehicle is set to hit the streets in the not-too-distant future.
is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.
Very little is known about this "single person transport system" concept dreamed up by the enigmatically-named product design student Sanu K R from Ernakulam on India's west coast, but one thing is clear: it's a head-turner.
The Voltitude fold-up electric scooter
has an ingenious EasyFold system. Once folded, a special button on the handlebar enables you to "walk" it alongside you indoors, so you never raise a sweat in reaching a power outlet, which will fully replenish the battery inside four hours. The 25 kph (15.5 mph) electric assist Voltitude begins volume production in July with an on-line price expected in the vicinity of EUR4000.
Despite not becoming the personal transport revolution that it was designed to be, the Segway
has provided a wealth of design fodder for numerous self-balancing concepts
single occupancy vehicles. Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush Darounkolayi's entry into this year's Michelin Design Challenge, however, probably owes more to the Disney/Pixar film WALL-E
– hopefully the users of his Supple concept won't end up being the grossly overweight, lethargic, mentally-challenged descendants of humanity like those aboard the Axiom cruise ship.
On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz filed a Patent No. 37435 at the Reich Patent Office in Berlin – it is generally regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile and became the first of over 80,000 patents awarded to the Mercedes Benz marque. Benz’ Patent Motor Car was equipped with a horizontal single-cylinder four-stroke engine, which developed an output of 0.55 kW at 400 rpm from a displacement of 954 cubic centimetres. The vehicle’s top speed was 16 km/h. Happy birthday to the automobile and congratulations to the company which today remains at the forefront of personal transportation. Extensive detailed images
Journeys from home to the nearest bus stop, train station or news stand may well prove too far for walking, but not really far enough to justify the expense of getting in the car. For those in-between journeys, you need a lightweight personal transport solution. Maybe something like the Treadway Mobility which has been entered into this year's James Dyson Awards competition. Designed to strap over existing footwear or to step into, the wearable motorized shoes could just be geeky enough for tech fans and cool enough for thrill-seeking teenagers. But not just yet.
Looking like the next evolutionary step for Zorbing
- but without the need for a downhill slope - the Buzzball is a giant sphere from New Zealand based promotional concepts company Evento which allows the pilot to create their own wild ride. The motion and direction of the Buzzball are controlled by a pilot inside the sphere via left and right control triggers which provide power to the driving wheels. These inner wheels in turn spin the 'pod' on its axis around the inside of the ball.
These days the term skateboard tends to refer to a whole raft of different transport modes that go way beyond the two-axle, four wheeled conveyances that rose to prominence in the 1970s – everything from in-line caster boards
to spokeless mini-motorcycles
and sit-down street machines
tend to be categorized under the genre. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the ramp, a new concept has emerged that could see self-balancing technology and electric propulsion incorporated into the skateboard design. The iSlide concept by industrial designer Ofir Tal is a one wheel motorized board that utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell and onboard gyroscope to attain speeds of around 15 kph.