A Japanese engineer is hoping to revolutionize the way people get around with his new invention that he’s dubbed the world’s first “car in a bag” — a motorized portable transporter roughly the size of a tablet computer that can easily fit into a small bag or backpack. Check it out:
Kuniako Sato, 26, and the team at Cocoa Motors recently unveiled the lithium battery-powered transporter that they are calling the WalkCar.
While it more closely resembles a skateboard than a car, it’s made out of sturdy aluminum and only weighs between 2 to 3 kilograms (4.4 to 6.6 pounds) depending on whether customers choose to buy the indoor or outdoor model. Sato thinks this will not only eliminate the demand for bulkier personal transportation systems, like the Segway, but change the way people view personal transportation.
“I thought, ‘What if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn’t that mean we’d always have our transportation with us to ride on?'” Sato told Reuters.
Sato also mentioned that, in some sense, he wanted to show the world that Japan could continue to be a leader in tech ingenuity.
“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,” Sato said. “But here, in this case, the WalkCar is a totally new product I have started from scratch. So, I want to show the world that Japan can also be innovative.”
The WalkCar reaches top speeds of roughly 6 miles per hour and can reach distances of roughly 7.5 miles on one three-hour charge. According to Sato it can easily push somebody on a wheelchair, and is incredibly easy to use. Users simply have to lean side to side to steer it, and the WalkCar stops automatically once somebody steps off of it.
While it remains to be seen what kind of impact the WalkCar will have on the personal transportation industry, those interested in buying their own WalkCar will soon be able to on the popular crowdfunding website KickStarter. Sato said he plans to put his invention on Kickstarter this fall for roughly $800.
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