The world’s roads only continue to get more and more congested, and the day of massive personal automobiles may come to a close sooner than you think. Honda is preparing for the future with a second-generation version of its personal mobility device, the Uni-Cub. But traditional cars shouldn’t feel too threatened just yet.
The Uni-Cub is a really, really short-range transportation device, with enough power from its lithium-ion battery for just 3.7 miles of driving at a top speed of 3.7 mph. That is only slightly faster than walking speed, which wouldn’t be so bad if the range wasn’t similarly limited. I went for a run yesterday and covered almost twice as much distance in the same time. The new version is smaller and lighter than the original.
Still, in countries like China and Japan where traditional cars spend more time idling in traffic than actually driving, personal mobility devices seem like an inevitability. Cities like Beijing have already taken steps to limit automobile traffic in the city limits, but people are still going to need a way to get around the city besides public transit. These people pods will also be more affordable, so the rising middle class in China and India might be able to afford it
Honda joins the likes of GM in thinking that personal mobility pods will have an important place in the cities of the future, but what say you? Will people-moving pods become the norm in the mega-cities of the future?