Here's one for seniors living life in the fast lane. Through around six months of tinkering, a pair of English mechanics has turned a humble old mobility scooter into a high-octane, rubber-burning speed machine. The souped-up four-wheeler was put to the test at a racetrack in the Isle of Man and claimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest mobility scooter ever built with a speed of 107.6 mph (173.16 km/h).
Late last year, we first heard about the hovering ArcaBoard. At the time, people wondered if it really worked as advertised, and whether or not we'd ever hear anything about it again. Well, now its creators have released a new video of it apparently in action, along with an announcement of a lower planned price.
The Hyperloop's journey from audacious concept to a functional, superfast transport system went up a gear over the weekend with more than 115 engineering teams descending on Texas A&M University to present passenger capsule designs in SpaceX's Hyperloop Pod Competition. An MIT team took out first place in the contest, and along with 22 other top designs it will now build human-scale prototypes to test out at SpaceX HQ later in the year.
A driverless electric shuttle took its first load of passengers a few hundred meters down a route in a rural section of the Netherlands this week. WePod shuttle is hoping to operate a fleet of the robotic vehicles in the area in the coming years.
Eight years after launching the original RipStik, Razor has created an electric-powered version of its caster board two-wheeled ride-on. The RipStik Electric features an in-wheel hub motor and is controlled by a joystick-style remote. We recently had the chance to hop on one, to see what it can do.
If you've never been to CES, then you may not know one of the tech show's dirty little secrets: getting around Las Vegas during the show can take up nearly as much time as the show itself. Though Vegas isn't the ideal city for personal urban transportation, our time using the EcoReco M5 Air scooter made for a solid alternative to standing in taxi lines. If you live in a city that's more friendly to personal transport, though, it could be much more than that.
Although velomobiles in general are a rather obscure class of vehicle, the human/solar-powered Elf is certainly one of the better-known recent examples. Inspired by its design and performance, Spanish startup evovelo recently put the finishing touches on the prototype of a similar vehicle, known as the mö. Like the Elf, it's propelled by pedal-power and/or an electric motor – and that motor is in turn powered by the sun.
Early next year, the Pedalist, e-fox, Elf and Tripod could all be in for some competition. That's when Illinois-based inventor Eliel Rojas plans on launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of his human/electric hybrid vehicle, the Ego Urban Transporter. Like those other models, it's what's known as a velomobile – a pedal-powered tricycle enclosed within an aerodynamic shell. Also like them, it's a velomobile that stands about as tall as a car. Its rider, however, stays pretty laid-back.
The continued minituarization of electronics, advances in materials technology, a growing emphasis on clean, sustainable modes of transport and imaginative thinkers with out-of-the-box ideas have converged to give us some truly audacious vehicle designs over the past 12 months. Some are certainly more practical than others, but from personal tricopters to amphibious motorcycles this new breed of personal mobility solutions offers a tantalizing glimpse into how we might be getting from A to B in the future. As we head into a new year with new possibilities, let's take a look at some that could have a role to play in shaping the future of transport.
For decades now we've been teased with hoverboard concepts, either from science fiction or highly limited real-life versions, but now aerospace company Arca is taking orders for what it claims is the real deal. The ArcaBoard appears to be the closest thing to the technology from Back to the Future: Part II that we've seen so far.