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