The design objective was to design a vehicle for the next generation (Generation Z) for the world's largest cities of the future.
The Vehicle is designed around the city of Tokyo for the year 2025, with the aim at bringing excitement back into the commuter's day to day travels. The City of Tokyo, while it has an extremely efficient transportation system that arrives promptly, all of the commuter trains are grossly over capacity, some as close as 200%, which leads to a dismal commute to work.
The inspiration of the vehicle came from science fiction themes like tron, the idea of having a vehicle disappear and re-appear on command was awe inspiring. I wanted to take the excitement of a two wheeled vehicle and adapt it to the needs of Japans aging population, so consumers young and old can have a fun experience commuting to work, as opposed to being crammed onto a train car. The process for which the vehicle was designed was a combination of sketching and exploring structural forms in paper folding and origami.
The weather protection system is a single windshield which is supported by arms which move along a rail within the wheel structure. They are linked to weather sensors to know what direction rain is coming from relative to the vehicles motion, which offers basic weather protection while still providing an open air feel.
The vehicles motor, battery system, and protective structure are all housed within the two large hub-less wheels on either side of the seat, utilizing the most space possible while saving weight. Items such as groceries or a backpack can be stowed away under the seat. Clear plastic side panels aid in weather protection and can be customized and or removed for summer time.
The magic behind the vehicles ability to collapse its width is due to the materials and structure. Not unlike a conventional wheelchair design, the vehicles seat is composed of rigid composite frame, while the center is a combination of leather with an under layer of corrugated plastic honeycomb, which allows the seat to stay rigid and sportive but still collapse in its width. The honeycomb structure is both light weight and ridged and can provide an added layer of energy absorbing protection in the event of a collision with another vehicle.
The vehicles small footprint while collapsed allows it to have the same footprint as a moped, so they can be stacked in parallel to maximize square footage. Mobile charging stations which would only have the footprint of a single parking space could store and charge as many as 6 vehicles. The vehicles narrow width also frees up traffic congestion as the vehicles can utilize the bike lanes.