A new solution to personal transportation.
The Segway was supposed to change the world, but ended up being an overpriced oddity for tourists roaming Washington, D.C. Now, car manufacturer Volkswagen thinks it can build a better personal mobility device by the end of next year.
The German automobile company will debut a three-wheeled electric scooter sometime in the second half of 2016 called the Volks-Roller. It will cost 1,000 euros and offer users a 12-mile travel travel range. It all fits into a foldable 24-pound form factor.
Here’s what it looks like:
The Volks-Roller one of several attempts that have been made to solve the “last-mile problem” in recent years. It’s a proposed answer to the question of how to most effectively cover the distance that commuters would otherwise have to drive between home and public transportation hubs.
Devices like these are commonly found on Kickstarter. Despite often raising large sums of money, it seems that they’ve never actually attracted the buzz necessary to redefine personal mobility. One project, called Hovertrax, raised $85,000 on Kickstarter. It was little more than wheels on a stabilized platform.
There’s the Halfbike II, which raised nearly $1 million. It was a bike/tricycle hybrid.
Once it’s formally released, the Volks-Roller will join a cast of these and other experimental get-around devices. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has expressed enthusiasm about the project despite having previously shot down other unconventional transportation ideas. As it gets closer to a launch date, it would be tremendously exciting to see Volkswagen treat this as a serious transportation product rather than an oddity.
If nothing else, that 1,000-euro price point sends a strong message to the Segway manufacturer, whose product still costs $6,500 brand new.
H/T Car And Driver | Photo via Car And Driver