HumanCar Is New Spin on Bicycle
The HumanCar is being launched on April 22rd 2008 (Earthday) in South Menlo Park, Ca. This bi-directional human power interface harnesses all the large muscle groups of up to 4 people allowing users to easily cruise at speeds of up to 20 mph (45 mph with power assist). The machine offers a viable (preferable) alternative to the car in a wide range of scenarios.
A prototype vehicle (aka The Trouble Maker) can be seen on YouTube here. This vehicle has been taken up to 80 mph on downhills. As well as cooperative power drive, coordinated leaning from the front is required to steer the vehicle. There are currently 4 pre-production prototypes of The Imagine, the next generation of HumanCar. This includes features such as: a exoskeletal safety cage and chassis that has been tested at up to 100 mph on salt flats; duel electric motors and variable human power input. It will also carry regular vehicle extras like a radio a trunk and wi-fi. It will retail at $15,000.
The HumanCar started life as a flash of inspiration in the mind of Charles Samuel Greenwood, an engineer and drag racer in the late sixties. The project has been passed down a generation to Charles’ son Chuck. Chuck has been making the most of the Silicon Valley’s explosion of clean-tech resources. He is a member of the Green Technology Alliance and part of the Green Alley Project, which is taking over defunct car dealerships in South Melno and turning them into green-tech showrooms (including for the Tesla and Zap cars). His passion has made the HumanCar a reality and he clearly believes the machine has more to offer then simple transportation; test drivers regularly come back with their friends the following day, desperate for another ride. By all accounts the act of moving the vehicle together is a powerfully unifying and life affirming activity.
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