Google’s interest came about thanks to their Project 10100, an initiative that seeks to find solutions that make the world a better place. The competition attracts a lot of entries — this year they received over 150,000 applicants from 170 countries. Shweeb was named one of the top five as voted on by the public, claiming top honors in the “Drive innovation in public transport” category.
The idea was conceived by Melbourne cyclist Geoff Barnett while he was living in Tokyo. After six years researching his dream, he set up a test bed in Rotura and launched the system in 2007. Since then, more than 30,000 people have ridden the Shweeb system, and the current speed record is 55 seconds for a 600m ride.
Shweeb managing director Peter Cossey said the company would spend the $1.05 million on research and development to build a showcase transit system in the northern hemisphere: “The northern hemisphere became the natural choicefor us due to the sheer number of people that require transport and also the opportunity to achieve a higher global profile for the future growth of the company,” Mr Cossey said.
With that in mind, is it possible that we’ll see the likes of the Shweeb in San Francisco, London or Tokyo soon?