The two-wheeled car that stays upright intuitively
NEW YORK, June 9 — A group of scientists have announced that within a few years it may be possible to sell a two-wheeled vehicle that can’t tip over.
Described as a “motorbike-car” hybrid, the Lit C-1 two wheeler uses a set of futuristic electronic gyroscopes to ensure it remains upright and balanced, similar to the technology used by Segway scooters and the recent Honda UNI-CUB.
The technology allows drivers to sit and use a steering wheel, as in a car, but allows the C-1 to stay perfectly balanced, even at slow speeds or a standstill.
The secret to the balance are the gyroscopes under the floor, which spin rapidly in response to electronic sensors to keep the vehicle balanced at all times — even, says Lit, if the vehicle is involved in a collision.
Gyroscopes, which harness the unique propensity of a spinning flywheel to stay upright, have been used for some time for stabilisation, including on aircraft and on cruise ships to reduce roll caused by waves.
However, this will be one of the most unique applications to date, potentially enabling drivers to switch to smaller vehicles which offer the benefits of a bike with the comparative safety of a car.
The model can even cope with some luggage and an extra passenger, says Lit, although it’s likely to involve some considerable acrobatics from the rear passenger given the small size of the device.
The C-1 uses electric drive and offers a battery pack capable of 320km from a single charge, as well as reaching a top speed of over 193km/h — far faster than most electric cars available on the market today.
The manufacturer says that it could be available in showrooms by the end of 2014 — it’s already offering pre-orders on the website from US$250 (RM775), although the final price of the vehicle is unclear. — AFP-Relaxnews