, 2 min read

Advances in Automotive Technology

Since a couple of decades people drive cars, motorcycles and trucks which pretty much look and work the same as a couple of decades ago. I.e., cars are made of steel, use a fuel powered motor, have 4 seats, etc. Although there are clearly advances in the area, like fuel consumption, electronic assistance systems, design, streamlined shape, most of the technology is basically the same.

The car industry is now witnessing two major trends:

  1. combustion engine is replaced by electric engine
  2. self-driving cars
Both trends are clearly visible but are progressing slowly and steadily. Both trends were most prominently demonstrated by outsiders of the car-industry:
  1. Tesla Motors
  2. Google

The following video shows Prof. Dr. Sebastian Thrun talking about Stanley, DARPA Grand Challenge and the Mojave Desert. https://video.golem.de/mobil/3850/autos-vom-computer-gesteuert-ein-vortrag-von-sebastian-thun-von-der-stanford-universitaet.html

Since the inception of the Segway the area of single person transportation has also seen several noteworthy advances.

  1. Single wheel motorcycle Ryno
  2. Single wheel Airwheel or Rockwheel
  3. Two-wheeled gyroscopically balanced vehicle Lit Motors (dead link) C-1

Currently the Segway is an order of magnitude too expensive. The Segway costs around 4,000 euros and therefore competes with the price of a secondhand car. As the Segway has much less utility than a full-blown car, it is no surprise that they did not leave their niche.

Below is a picture of the Ryno. Ryno

Below video shows the Ryno in action.

The airwheel looks like this Airwheel

Lit Motors C-1 looks like this Lit Motors

Daniel Kim, CEO of Lit Motors, presents his C-1.

Added 19-Jun-2015: Another outlook is given by Mercedes Benz in below video:

Added 09-Jul-2023: