The transport of the future - inspired by a 1961 Ford: Chinese designer reveals radical self driving two wheel gyrocar
A Chinese engineering company has designed a two-wheel car inspired by the 1961 Ford Gyron. The 1703 prototype is undergoing testing in Bejiing
A Chinese engineer has designed a two-wheeled car of the future based on a 1961 Ford model.
Self balancing two-wheel cars, known as gyrocars, have been around for over 100 years, but have failed to catch on.
Zhu Lingyun hopes to change that with his gyrocar design, inspired by the 1961 Ford Gyron.
The two-wheeled vehicle doesn't have a steering wheel or acceleration pedal, and is instead controlled by a computer mouse and 24-inch screen.
The two-wheeled vehicle doesn't have a steering wheel or acceleration pedal, and is instead controlled by a computer mouse and 24-inch screen
The car can also drive autonomously, and could go on sale by 2020, its inventor claims.
Beijing Lingyun Intelligent Technology Co plans to build the car for public use, and the vehicle is already undergoing testing in China.
'I was told by a potential investor that I have zero chance to make the idea work,' Zhu, 40, said to Bloomberg after a test drive of a prototype called the 1703.
'But I firmly believe this is the future of urban transportation because it is exquisite, energy-saving and easy to manage. I have to make it.'
Zhu and his startup Lingyun hope to have the car on the market by 2020.
He first spotted Ford's Gyron on the internet five years ago, and immediately wanted to build his own.
The car was on the May 1961 cover of Car Life magazine and then displayed at the Detroit Motor Show.
In 2014, Zhu started Lingyun with $470,000 in investments and three employees.
The company is now worth $60million.
The Gyron had two seats and a tail fin and never went into production.
Zhu's car is a single-seater that is about 10 feet long and can reach speeds of up to 62 mph.
'On most occasions, a car is used by a single person, so a car for one person has market prospects,' said Li Jianwei, who led Sequoia Capital's investment into Lingyun in 2014.
'As long as they can prove that their vehicles are reliable and safe, the government will gradually accept it. We took this as a long-term investment.'
The 1703 prototype can drive autonomously or can be controlled by the smartscreen.
A promotional video shows a woman applying lipstick and checking her iPhone as she drives around a parking lot.
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