It could be the ultimate personal transporter – and one you never need to worry about parking.
Twenty-six-year-old Kuniako Saito and his team at Cocoa Motors recently unveiled the lithium battery-powered ‘WalkCar’ transporter, which is the size of a laptop and resembles a skateboard more than a car.
According to the manufacturer, this device you are about to see is labeled as the world`s smallest car, because it can easily be stored in a handbag and take it wherever you go. Therefore, it is named as WALKCAR! However, there is one slight problem. It does not resemble a car at all, although the concept is similar to Segway`s. We are going to leave this issue to the critics.
This device has a pretty straightforward usage. Just take it out from the handbag or a backpack (whichever you`d prefer), place it on the ground, step on it and you are good to go! The size is WalkCar`s greatest perk! It isn`t bigger than a normal size lap top hence you can carry it with you anywhere you go. You are operating it with your body, i.e. with your body`s movements.
Saito says he is confident that WalkCar goes beyond bulkier devices such as the Segway or Toyota’s Winglet.
‘Maybe I just see it that way, but it seems to me that the U.S. is always the one which invents new products and Japan is the one which takes those products and improves on them to make a better version of it.
‘But here in this case, the WalkCar is a totally new product I have started from scratch. So I also I want to show the world that Japan can also be innovative,’ he said.
Once the rider stands on it the WalkCar starts automatically, while simply stepping off stops the vehicle. To change direction, the user just shifts their weight.
This amusing unit is made of aluminum and can withstand weight of up to 264 pounds. It can reach a top speed of 6 miles per hour and you can ride it for 7 miles or up to 3 hours! In addition, WalkCar has divided the public opinions in two. Some people think that this gadget will make us even lazier whereas others believe it is useful for multipurpose usage! Where do you put yourself?
GizMag reached out to its Japan-based designer for more details, but are still waiting to hear back. One thing we do know, however, is that it’s slated to be the subject of a Kickstarter campaign beginning in October. It’s hoped that a production model will be out by next spring (Northern Hemisphere), priced at around 100,000 yen (about US$800).