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Hyundai’s egg-mobile. Is this the future of personal mobility?

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Behold! The latest entry in personal mobility vehicles. I present to you Hyundai’s “E4U”.

Pardon me, coming through. Photo via Nikkei Tech-on.

Debuted at the Seoul Motor Show last month, the E4U works like no other ground vehicle that I have seen. Instead of wheels or tracks providing locomotive action, the base of the “egg” spins, much like the rotors of a helicopter, with a correcting force provided by two training wheels. Pedals allow the operator (driver?) to control the pod. The E4U is at the concept stage now, apparently capable of reaching walking speeds.

Last time we talked about a personal mobility vehicle, I pooh-poohed Honda’s Uni-Cub, where it seemed that we were engineering ourselves out of natural movement. But then I spent an entire weekend walking around a convention floor, and I would have sold my soul to get off my feet and scoot around!

So with that in mind, I’m keeping an open mind about these devices. Perhaps one day my kids will chuckle when I talk about the good old days of “walking” around the university campus, the walking equivalent to vinyl records. At this point, I will have resigned myself to the convenience of scooting around in my own egg. In any event, it might be fun to race one of these bad boys against Scott in his solar-powered bike car-thingy.

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. RSchmidt 11:50 am 04/3/2013

    Think I’d rather walk.

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  2. 2. Quantumburrito 12:47 pm 04/3/2013

    “Perhaps one day my kids will chuckle when I talk about the good old days of “walking” around the university campus.”

    Yes, and I fear that day since it will probably mean obese kids who don’t need to walk anywhere.

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  3. 3. lamorpa 12:54 pm 04/3/2013

    Just in case you have a fear of not looking like the most moronic person in a 30 mile radius…

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  4. 4. dernickvw 2:39 pm 04/3/2013

    What about the segway? I thought this niche was filled.

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  5. 5. Ihopethisusernameisnttaken 10:43 pm 04/3/2013

    @dernickvw, psssh yea if you want STAND on your conveyance like some sort of peon. This device takes the laziness to a whole ‘nother echelon!

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  6. 6. DanYHKim 11:49 pm 04/3/2013

    The model must have the facial control of a Shao Lin monk, to be able to keep a straight face while wearing that helmet!

    Link to this
  7. 7. Ihopethisusernameisnttaken 12:03 am 04/4/2013

    @DanYHKim I kind of like the helmet, very Sci-Fi-ish. In fact, I find the whole package pretty slick. It just doesn’t really seem to need to exist.

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  8. 8. vagnry 3:58 pm 04/4/2013

    After a day in the Euphoria-pod, you’ll have to use the evening in the gym to keep fit!

    I’d rather walk the campus in the daytime, and spend my evening at home;-)

    Link to this

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