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Chan tells explained to us that Citi.Transmitter was his final-year project in 2010 when he was studying at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He says that the system “is designed for personal transportation, and also the user can, based on their own need, select a module to apply in different situations.” He says “the design idea is mainly based on research from the U.S. Department of Transportation,” which says that “76 percent of people drive alone for work,” meaning that “a vehicle of more than two seats is kind of a waste for a single person… they cannot fully utilize the vehicle, and it wastes energy and time due to the increase in traffic jams.”

Chan’s design concept provides a potential contribution to the vision of sustainable cities. Obviously, public transit, walking, and biking are key elements of an environmentally friendly city. But at the same time, many city dwellers need to have the option of personal motor transportation. A small, modular design such as Citi.Transmitter might allow the user to “right-size” his or her personal transportation, saving energy and reducing traffic problems. Electric vehicles (EVs) produce very low atmospheric emissions, minimizing the local environmental impact.

Chan’s design won the best-of-show award at the Hong Kong Polytechnic design school’s annual show in 2010. He tells us that some automotive companies are researching modular vehicle designs, although, as far as he knows, none has referenced Citi.Transmitter.

Drawings courtesy of Vincent Chan.

+ Vincent Chan