New Technology Carr-E mobility concept

Published on November 7th, 2016 | by Steve Hanley

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Ford Carr-E Is An Innovative “Last Mile” Concept (w/Video)

November 7th, 2016 by  
 

Ford is busy transforming itself from a car manufacturer to a mobility company. Mobility is essentially a code word for what is popularly known as the “last mile” problem. After people fight their way through morning traffic and find a parking space, they are often a mile or more away from their final destination. At the end of the work day, the problem plays out in reverse.

Carr-E mobility concept

Kilian Vas, a Ford systems engineer in Cologne, Germany was one of 633 people who submitted proposals for personal mobility solutions as part of the company’s Last Mile Mobility Challenge. His proposal is called the Carr-E. It looks like a cross between a skate board, a Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaner, and a Segway.

The Carr-E can transport people or objects weighing up to 250 lbs and has a range of 14 miles at speeds up to 11 mph. It is designed to fit in the space for a spare tire in the trunk of a car. It has been shortlisted for the innovation challenge finals alongside the TriCiti — a folding electric tricycle that can be easily adapted into a shopping cart, stack trolley or golf buggy and the eChair concept — an electric wheelchair that can load itself automatically into a vehicle.

 

“We really need to reinvent the wheel, to find new approaches to mobility,” Vas said. “When developing the Carr-E, I was inspired by Ford’s expansion into both an auto and a mobility company, but I’m also aware of how rapidly cities are growing and how getting around urban areas will become progressively more complicated. I really wanted to create a device that makes commuting easier and more fun.”

Vas collaborated with his colleague Daniel Hari and his manager Dr. Uwe Wagner. He also worked with designers from Ford of Europe and prototyping specialists from RWTH Aachen University to create the Carr-E. The four-wheeled device is designed to complement the use of a vehicle and support commuters during the final part of their journey, between parking space and destination. The Carr-E can also be used to transport heavy objects. Users simply place the object on the device and it will follow an electronic transmitter they keep in their possession.

Is the Carr-E goofy? Oh, yeah. Bigly, as The Donald would say. But that doesn’t mean 5 or 10 year from now these little beauties won’t be skittering down sidewalks in cities all around the world.

Source: Inside EVs  Photo credit: Ford

 





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About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.



  • PeteDisqus321

    On a train, if you’re not holding on to a hand rail or strap, you generally stand sideways to your direction of travel. There’s a reason for this.

    • Kevin

      I would prefer a handle to hold for stability (mine, not the toy’s), similar to what that other company has.

  • Rick Danger

    Ebikes are getting less expensive with the new generation. In fact, right now, there is a kickstarter going on for a nice folding one that you can get for $500-600 (search for AMP Errand).

    Ford is permanently out to lunch. How much is this stupid looking thing going to cost? “Look! I’m riding a vacuum cleaner!”

    • Steve Hanley

      Oh, that is cold, Rick! ; – )

    • Kevin

      I thought it looked happy 🙂

  • fvgreen

    Walking the last mile is good for you. Just a thought.

    • Steve Hanley

      Hey, there’s a thought!

    • Kevin

      Maybe they should re-name it the “Lay-Z”.

  • partyzant

    Yeah, finaly… now we are waiting for last 10 yards carrier which will carry average American from his house door to his sofa, because as all knows walking is very dengerous and harmfull for human health…;p

    • Steve Hanley

      Most Americans would agree with that statement!

  • EVPerks.com

    That’s great Ford engineers are focused on this last mile solution, now if they can just get on the EV bandwagon and really do society some good.

  • tb

    This is just like the hoverboard I got my kid for Christmas last year. Well done Ford!

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