The future of urban transportation might feel more like a theme park than stop and go traffic if this electric diwheel catches on. Fourteen students from the University of Adelaide, Australia have re-envisioned the future of urban transportation with this electric vehicle that mounts a cabin for one driver between two fixed axle wheels — they sort of look like the back two wheels of a wheelchair. The vehicle — dubbed the Electric Diwheel with Active Rotation Damping (EDWARD) — is capable of traveling at up to 24 miles per hour and can turn its driver safely on their head just like a theme park ride. Watch a video of what might be the most fun car ever after the jump.
The students report that with a rather aggressive driving style — meaning turning the thing upside-down and doing rapid turns in succession — they can get about one hour out of their current battery pack. One would think with a small amount of engineering and all the battery technology that is coming out right now they’ll be able to improve that time-ratio quickly. Though at times EDWARD looks more like a toy than a practical vehicle the students who designed it see it as a possible solution to the urban congestion we are facing in our cities.
EDWARD has no emissions, is easily maneuverable through small spaces and doesn’t take up much space when parking. The students installed a joystick control system for their two wheeled vehicle that resembles the controller on a video game and have a five point racing harness installed to keep the driver safe. In a street scene the driver would keep the inner frame unlocked from the outer wheels and due to a specially designed stabilization system would have a rather smooth driving experience. If you’re bored however and would like to do some serious wheelies, just engage the hand brake, lock the inner frame to the outer wheels and around you go.