BUSINESS

'WalkCar' Video Teases What A 'Car In A Bag' Can Do

08/10/2015 02:55 EDT | Updated 08/10/2015 06:00 EDT

It looks like a laptop, but standing on this slick Japanese invention will actually get you somewhere — relatively quickly, too.

The “WalkCar” is the creation of 26-year-old Japanese engineer Kuniako Saito and his Cocoa Motors team. The laptop-sized motorized scooter board has enough power to carry riders on speeds up to 10 kilometres per hour on a three-hour charge.

Saito came up with the WalkCar’s concept and design after a friend asked him to flex his electric car motor systems expertise and make something personal and portable.

“I thought, ‘What if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn’t that mean we’d always have our transportation with us to ride on?’” he told Reuters.

The WalkCar works by responding to shifts in body weight, similar to a Segway. All riders have to do is step on the device and lean in whichever direction they want to go toward, and the WalkCar does the rest.

A promotional video showcases how responsive the WalkCar’s sensors are with footage of a rider weaving through pylons, moving heavy dollies uphill, and pushing a friend in a wheelchair around a park.

Billed as a less bulky Segway, the spot also shows how the device comes to a full stop as soon as its user jump off. It’s unknown what its braking mechanisms are for downhill situations.

Saito explained he hopes his invention, a “totally new product” started “from scratch,” helps show off Japan’s engineering prowess on the global stage.

“Maybe I just see it that way, but it seems to me that the U.S. is always the one which invents new products and Japan is the one which takes those products and improves on them to make a better version of it,” he said. “I also want to show the world that Japan can also be innovative.”

Powered by a lithium battery, the tiny motorized transportation device will be able for pre-order in October for around $800 USD, according to its website. Deliveries aren’t expected until 2016.

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