The latest and greatest car isn’t really a car at all. The WalkCar is the creation of a Japanese engineer who calls his technological wonder the world’s first car in a bag.
It’s made from aluminum and only weighs 4.4-6.6 pounds depending on whether you buy the indoor version or the outdoor version. What it looks like is a MacBook on wheels. This is much stronger than a MacBook with enough strength to support up to 265 pounds on its back.
The WalkCar doesn’t go very fast, with a top speed of only 6.2 MPH. It also has a range of only 7.4 miles after three hours of charging so you will not be riding it on a cross-country trip. It could, however, come in handy for city dwellers looking for alternatives to cars and who have shorter distances to travel.
Very much unlike a car, you don’t need to find a parking spot since it fits into a tote bag same as your laptop. According to Reuters, 26-year-old inventor Kuniako Saito says it’s very easy to ride. Step onto the device to turn it on and change direction by shifting your weight toward where you want to go. Stepping off the WalkCar immediately brings it to a stop. This is where the concept gets iffy.
If you’ve ever been on a Segway, then you understand the idea of shifting your weight to control your direction. You’ve likely also found that it’s not as easy as it looks. The WalkCar is different in that it has four wheels instead of two, but we’re betting it will still take a little practice before it becomes easy to use. Investing in a helmet and some elbow pads might not be a bad call.
Calling this a car is also a bit of a misnomer. If anything, it’s more like an electric skateboard. It has none of the comforts of a car, nor will it protect you from the elements. A glorified skateboard is still cool, but it ain’t no car.
Saito has started Cocoa Motors to sell his invention and like any startup, he needs some capital to see things through to production. A kickstarter campaign is planned for October with a starting price of about $800 per unit. If he gets the funding he needs, then WalkCar will ship next Spring.
That’s plenty of time for you to get a sturdy helmet so you don’t crack your skull open the first time you panic and steer yourself down a flight of stairs.