14.12.2012 Is the two-wheel C-1 the car of the future?
California-based Lit Motors has just announced the ground-breaking C-1, a self-balancing electric two-wheeler which just might be a vision for the car of the future.
While the C-1 is totally enclosed with all the mod cons (and more) that you'd expect to find in a modern car, it only has two-wheels. But a motorbike it isn't, as two high-speed gyroscopes keep the C-1 upright even when it's stationary.
Supplying 1,760 Nm of torque, the two gyroscopes enables the two-wheeled "transportation device," as Lit Motors calls the C-1, to remain upright at a stop without the driver having to put a foot down, and can even keep the vehicle on its wheels in a collision.
Although unnerving for drivers who first take to the wheel of the two-wheeler, according to Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim, it would take a "baby elephant" to push the vehicle over. Even with its parking stands retracted, pushing the C-1 from the side has little effect on its orientation.
For forward motion, the electric C-1 is powered by two 40kW in-wheel electric motors which provide an acceleration of 0 to 60 in around 7 seconds. With a top speed of 120 mph the C-1 has a range of up to 200 miles on a single charge.
With a proper steering-wheel for directional control and a "human-centric" interior, Lit Motors have designed the vehicle to fit one person comfortably, with limited room available for an occasional passenger. Reflecting its Silicon Valley birthplace, the C-1 is highly connected device, the Lit Motors website describing the C-1 as a "rolling smart-phone."
If you want one, you won't have to wait long as Lit Motors plan to sell the C-1 in 2013, with prices starting from £10,000.
Lit Motors , SmartPlanet, BBC
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