The millionaire co-founder of Applied Minds has created the KiraVan SuperRV to protect his daughter while she explores the world after he is gone. Bran Ferren and his Applied Minds co-founder, Danny Hillis, are ex-Disney Imagineers with connections to GM, Intel, Lockheed Martin and many other big names in the technology field, helping make this SuperRV a real beast.
At the age of 61, Bran Ferren has spent a life in service to Disney. He has assisted with designs on a number of Disney Theme Park rides, including the Tower of Terror, and along with Danny Hillis, holds a patent for multi-touch gestures which helped invalidate the “pinch-to-zoom” patent Apple battled Samsung over.
Ferran also hasn’t slown down his personal life, having fathered a child at age 57. Since then, he’s traveled the dangerous Afghan terrain working with Hollywood. He races motorcycles. He drives helicopters. He makes his own beef jerky. He likes to poop with the door open. He goes on riverboat gambling trips. I’m making assumptions on those last three, but would it surprise you? The guy is a modern day adventurer.
The KiraVan is the result of four years and millions of dollars’ worth of love for his now 4-year-old daughter Kira, for whom it’s named after. The RV weighs in at 51,700 lbs. and has all of the amenities she might need to stay comfortable in the middle of nowhere. The camper’s 260 HP Mercedes-Benz diesel engine can travel for 2,000 miles without needing to refuel its 170 gallon heated and filtered tank. Even at this weight, the KiraVan manages to get up to 70mph in 4WD and 30mph in 6WD. Yup, this bad boy is so bad, it needs an extra axle.
At a length of 52’ with the trailer(21’ without), it can hold enough supplies to keep a family of three nourished for 2-3 weeks and enough communications equipment, radars, cameras, sensors, and other gadgets to make any scientist salivate. With more trackers, beacons, monitors, and radios than the average commercial airliner, the KiraVan would make any hylophobic (fear of the trees!) feel safe. An advanced incineration system burns sewage to a biologically-safe, inert ash to help tread as lightly as a 26 ton vehicle can.
Other features include:
- The KiraBike, a turbo-diesel motorcycle that gets up to 100 mpg in an emergency situation
- 46” 400 lb. Kevlar shielded tires with automatic on-the-fly tire chains
- Solar panel array with dual battery banks
- Nitrogen hydraulic suspension with a +/- 1’ adjustment for up to a 45 degree entry angle
- 11 cockpit screens with GPS, road conditions, and more
- Drones that report on upcoming road conditions
- A special auto-balancing, computerized chair for Kira
The KiraVan is nearing completion, as it has for the past several years, but last minute changes have continuously delayed the project as the Ferren family eagerly awaits the travels it will bring. This beastly RV is the thing dreams are made of with its huge tires, six-wheel-drive, and a full kitchen to boot. As Tim “The Tool man” Taylor would say…hargh hargh hargh hargh hargh.