Japan is known worldwide for its innovation in technology, and in transport. Japan boasts one of the best rail networks in the world. The Tokyo Metro is mostly exactly on time, trains cars are tidy and clean. The Shinkansen is renown the world over for it’s speedy transit across the country and the new Maglev train has set world speed records at 603 km/h. So it is not a surprise that a new invention to get you around has come out of Japan… the car in a bag!
This new mode of transportation has be named the “WalkCar” or ウォーカー in Japanese. The idea for the invention apparently was thanks to a friend of the inventor. The creator of WalkCar Kuniako Sato, who is only 26 years old, thought one day how useful it would be if we could always have a means of transportation with us. At the time, Sato was studying Engineering for his Masters and his friend challenged him to create such a mode of transportation and Sato did along with the help of a team at Cocoa Motors. The idea of this product is to have a mode of transport which you can always carry around with you, that would fit in a regular sized bag. Sato’s studies centred specifically on car motor control systems, which allowed him to invent the WalkCar.
The WalkCar is built to be roughly the same size as a tablet computer, something we are all used to carrying around with us already. The weight of WalkCar was also important in its design, if it was too heavy to carry around all day the idea would not have worked. The WalkCar is built from aluminium and weighs in between two and three kilogrammes, depending on whether you choose the indoor or outdoor version of the transporter. As for speed, the WalkCar can get up to speeds of 10 kilometres per hour, which is 6.2 mph. WalkCar is rechargeable and on three hours of charge. WalkCar is also strong and can take loads of 120kg! Sato wishes for WalkCar to have numerous uses, such as helping people push wheelchairs or trolleys of goods. In the promotional video, you can see someone travel uphill whilst pushing a heavy cart! Steering and stop/starting is easy. When you step onto WalkCar it will start, and when you get off it will automatically stop. To steer simply shift your weight.
Now you know all about WalkCar I am sure you want to get one. Sadly the WalkCar is not even out for pre-order yet, but should be in October 2015. From this time, you should be able to place your order on the Crowdfunding site Kickstarer. Sato then expects to have the WalkCar available for delivery from spring 2016. Each unit will be sold for $800 US or roughly 100,000Y.
This new invention is really innovative. Although there are other options on the market it seems the WalkCar can be used for both business and pleasure!