With the spread of coronavirus around the world, many people are understandably nervous about using public transport to get around. That is if you are allowed to get out of the house in the first place.
But some companies are developing, or have developed, transport solutions that might just be perfect for continuing your self-isolation on-the-go. Here are are some great, and frankly exciting, examples.
What are some examples of transport that limit human contact?
So, without further ado, here are some examples of transportation that limit human contact. Trust us when we say this list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. This concept car has separate compartments for each passenger
A new driverless car concept might be the perfect form of transport if you are trying to avoid other people. It, uniquely, has four separate compartments that offer each passenger their own, self-contained space.
Called the "Quartercar", it was designed by a British company called Seymourpowell as a "private shared" vehicle. The car's designers believe it could boost profitability and efficiency for applications like the rideshare industry.
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Each of the internal partitions is retractable if passengers want to be more social.
"We have identified this as the 'Uber Pool' problem, where despite cost-based incentives, passengers are unwilling to share their journey with other users," the car's designer Jonny Culkin told Business Insider in an interview. "It is a significant challenge for vehicle manufacturers and ride-hailing services to overcome in order to unlock revenue and efficiency growth potential."
2. Have you seen Lit Motors' C-1?
Back in 2012, a company called Lit Motors announced they were developing a fully enclosed, self-balancing, enclosed, electric motorcycle. Called the C-1, this would be the perfect personal transport if you wanted to avoid other people.
Lit Motor's, an LA-based startup, developed the C-1 to be more efficient than a four-wheeler alternative while also being safer than a bike. It integrates gyroscopes to stay balanced on its own when driving straight, as well as, during turns.
They claim that drivers could, in theory at least, wind down the windows and drag their knuckles on the floor during such maneuvers.
3. Check out the "Boomerbuggy X"
Here is yet another form of personal transport that will keep you nice and isolated from other human beings during your 'toing and froing'. Called the "Boomerbuggy X", this solar power, fully enclosed mobility scooter might be the solution for you.
It has been developed by a company called Daymak and comes in several variants.
"We have re-designed the mobility scooter experience," Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak explains. "Seniors and people with mobility issues will not be limited to traveling only when it's sunny and warm. They will be able to ride in the cold, rain or sunshine, giving them freedom of mobility."
But, during times like the current COVID-19 pandemic, this might be an ideal transport for anyone years-away from old age.
4. The "Podbike" might also be a good choice
The "Podbike" is a special kind of personal transport called a velomobile that might just be one of the best forms of transport if you want to avoid others. According to its designers, the "PodbikE2 is intended to be "sustainable personal transportation with its four wheels, electric-assist, and protection against the weather."
The vehicle is partly human-powered and can be cycled like a regular bike if you fancy a bit of exercise in style. Its electrical assist feature enables the vehicle to travel at around 25 km/h.
Future developments include a self-parking feature and an extra charge battery that can be delivered to you on demand. The manufacturers hope to have the vehicle in production by late 2020.
5. The Seat Minimó might just be the future of city mobility
You may, or may not, be familiar with the Seat Minimó, but its designers believe it will be the future of city mobility. But, it would also be the perfect solution to getting around without having to share your transport with another person.
This all-electric vehicle combines the best of both worlds of cars and bikes and is supposed to be more sustainable than both. It is a quadricycle that merges "futuristic packaging, agility, and practicality to bring a fresh perspective to urban driving with 0 emissions and being ready for an autonomous future," says Seat.
"SEAT Minimó can reduce operating costs of an electric carsharing by up to 50% thanks to solutions like an innovative battery swap system" - Seat.
6. You might want an EN-V in your life
General Motors have been developing their own driverless, personalized all-electric vehicle called the EN-V for a few years now. The concept vehicle currently has working prototypes that are intended to be the future of car sharing.
Although it is a two-seater, there is nothing stopping yourself from traveling alone.
“GM regards car sharing as an important building block for future personal mobility,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien in a press release. “The pilot program provided GM valuable data and insights into real-world sharing practices and electric vehicle usage. It will help advance our development of sustainable personal mobility solutions for China and the world.”
The pilot program was operated at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and had racked up over 90,000 km over 2 years.
7. The Toyota i-Road could also be an option
First debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2013, the Toyota i-Road is yet another potential solution for personal transport on your own. It weighs around 300 kg and is only 90 cm wide.
It has been designed to offer the maximum flexibility in mobility in cities, while simultaneously reducing inner-city congestions and harmful emissions. Not much larger than a motorbike, the i-Road can accommodate up to two passengers sitting in tandem.
"Climbing inside you are safely cocooned within a weatherproof cockpit that benefits from a car-like interior and all the creature comforts it allows, such as heating, lighting and audio systems." - Toyota.
8. Elio Motors' three-wheeler personal transport could come in handy
Awarded the best startup of 2015, Elio Motors' three-wheeler transport is another potential vehicle for getting around on your own. Called the "Elio", it is an aerodynamic vehicle that has features including power windows, power door locks, cruise control, and air conditioning.
"Our goal is to revolutionize American transportation. We're creating the ultimate commuter vehicle for virtually every budget. One that gets up to 84 MPG, has a targeted base price of just $7,450, and will create in excess of 1,500 American jobs." - Elio Motors.
9. Why not just take to the skies with the PAL-V?
And finally, if driving around on roads is too risky for you, why not just take to the air with the PAL-V? Touted as the world's first commercial flying car, the PAL-V is something of a mixture between a hatchback and a helicopter.
The Dutch flying car was debuted back in 2018 at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.
"Inspired by nature, engineered by men and evolved over time, the PAL-V Liberty is a groundbreaking product that inaugurates the age of the flying car. The PAL-V Liberty is a marriage between safety and fun, designed to satisfy the most demanding customers." - PAL-V.