As the race to develop a vehicle that resolves the need for compactness, efficiency and protection, we're increasingly seeing vehicles that blur the lines between car and bike - case in point, the Lit C-1.
Though the hub-steering cyber cycle turns via steering wheel, it shares its cornering dynamic with motorcycles in that it leans through corners. And as the video shows, the C-1 remains upright, even at low speeds and in reverse gear, thanks to several very powerful gyroscopes in the bikes floor.
Spinning at up to 12,000rpm, these gyros counter the forces that would normally see the C-1 topple over.
The Lit C-1 has been developed by an American company, Lit Motors, a vehicle that rides on two wheels and finds motive force from a pair of in-wheel electric motors, outputting 54hp (40kW).
These hub motors provide enough mumbo for the C-1 to reach "a top speed of over 120mph" says the American company, which is about 190km/h. The range is claimed at 322km (200 miles) from the 8kWh battery pack, but considering the vehicle is still a prototype and not yet production ready this 300km+ range may be pared back.
Lit says the C-1 is aiming for a late 2014 launch and will cost around $25,000. It's unclear if the American company plans to export the vehicle beyond the USA.
At present Lit says it is keeping a lid on the nitty gritty: "We are keeping very quiet about many of the details of our upcoming transportation device."
However the company does reveal a little about the design and function of the C-1.
Apparently there is room for a friend to sit behind the driver/rider for "short city excursions" and the vehicle is being touted as the 'smart phone' of personal transportation devices. It has vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, allowing riders to be constantly in contact with other road users, deliver traffic data, weather data etc.
Lit says the C-1 is "the world’s first gyroscopically stabilised rolling smart phone. This vehicle combines the efficiency and freedom of a motorcycle with the safety and convenience of a car. Offering the alternated to alternatives on an exciting and safe platform, the C-1 transforms your daily commute into something to look forward to."
Check out LitMotors.com for more details.