Mobility – At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mercedes Benz, Hyundai with Uber, Segway and more launched future mobility innovations set to take over roads, pavements and skies in a not-so-far-away urban future.
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Urban flying taxi stations for future cities
Uber and Hyundai unveiled the S-A1 aerial vehicle, a full-scale flying taxi concept, and announced a new partnership to develop a future ride-share network. The companies presented designs for ground-based infrastructures to support a flying-taxi service run by Uber.
The urban hubs feature landing pads and stations for electric PBV – purpose-built vehicle – minibusses by Hyundai. The S-A1 model can reach 290 km/hr and a cruising altitude of around 300 – 600 meters above the ground. The 100% electric vehicle utilizes distributed electric propulsion and, during peak hours, requires about five to seven minutes for recharging.
Avatar-inspired scale-covered car
Mercedes Benz has launched Vision AVTR, a silver-coated car conceived as a ‘living creature’ and inspired by the sci-fi fantasy film Avatar. The vehicle reflects the company’s vision for the mobility of tomorrow. AVTR stands for Advanced Vehicle Transformation; like in James Cameron’s movie, humans, nature and technology blend together.
The vehicle can recognize the passenger’s heartbeat and breathe after placing their hand on the control unit. The sleek design centres on a stretched profile with a long cabin, short bonnet and trunk, and expansive doors. The bonnet features scale-like “bionic flaps” emulating the scales of reptiles.
Solar-powered compact electric tricycle
Wello launched a solar-powered compact tricycle. Halfway between a bike and an electric car, the hybrid vehicle is ideal for short deliveries and travel for commuters and could alleviate congestion in cities offering an alternative to cars. “Imagine being able to move around in an urban environment, combining speed, security, comfort, carrying capacity and respect for the environment.” Say at Wello.
The smart tricycle comes with a pair of conventional pedals, just like a standard bike, but has a built-in rechargeable battery and solar panels on the roof too. Indeed, the innovation is equipped with three wheels and an electric battery providing a range of up to 100 km (62 miles) per day.
Jurassic Park-inspired electric wheelchair
Segway-Ninebot has unveiled S-Pod, an egg-shaped self-balancing electric wheelchair that can go up to 38 km/h. Inspired by the gyrosphere vehicles in the 2015 movie Jurassic World that transport visitors around the amusement park, the innovation is “perfect for ‘enclosed campuses such as airports, theme parks and malls,” say at Segway.
“We are changing the way people move from place to place with an eye towards the future of how cities will evolve, as well as the mobility needs in the off-road space.”
Electric SUV with built-in ‘karaoke mode’
American automaker Fisker has unveiled its ultimate electric Ocean crossover, which was designed to enhance the road’s emotional experiences. The built-in ‘karaoke mode’ makes some noise to bring passengers together. When in ‘California mode,’ the vehicle’s nine glass windows and panels lower or slide to create “an open-air feeling, while still maintaining a full ‘roll cage’ safety structure around the passengers.”
The vehicle also features a booking service offered through an app that allows consumers to manage to pay for their car or schedule maintenance appointments more easily without bringing their car to a shop to get maintenance.