The Happy New Owner
(Not actual new owner. Persons shown are actors and any similarity or likeness to actual new owner is unintentional)
It took a (long) while, but the eMR2 found a new home with an owner excited to get it back up and running. As is the case with most conversions, the sale price came no where near to covering even the cost of parts but there was little purpose in holding on to the car in the hopes that its market value would somehow magically increase in proportion to the thickness of dust on the frunk. A Ferrari Daytona it is not. It certainly was a great project and the money has long been forgotten, I’m just glad I didn’t have to part it out. Look for it at autocrosses in Ohio this summer!
As public transit is undergoing a revival in the US and around the world, is the transit experience really in sync with the times? 50 years ago the last steetcar in Baltimore was taken off the rails. In its heyday, a streetcar rider could typically expect to wait 5 minutes and sometimes as few as three. A driver or conductor would greet them as they climbed the three or so steps to get aboard and deposit their fare token, which would take them as far as they wanted to go as the streetcar followed its predetermined route. 50 years later, public transport works much the same way. There are few transportation systems that schedule less than 5 minutes between vehicles in favor of fewer, larger capacity vehicles. They still follow a pre-planned route that can’t adapt to changing conditions any faster than a lengthy public review process allows. Just swapping the fare token with a smartcard accounts for nearly all the difference of the urban transport rider experience of 50 years ago and today and yet we have at our disposal a level of technology that was only dreamt of in 1963. What would Transportation as a Service (TaaS) look like in 2015? This series of posts will look at how an urban transportation system can judiciously apply technology to increase its usefulness to customers and achieve consistent profitability.
If only humans could be so efficient at transporting themselves as a butterfly
After wrestling with many ideas of what could, should and can be done given the resources at hand, I made a list of the requirements Velomobile 2 should satisfy to make it attractive to people who already use a bike as their primary mode of transportation, are proud of that fact and are looking for a more practical and useful human powered machine. It is quite dry (just the facts, ma’m) in the way a grocery list fails to portend the delectable dish that is to result so turn off the right side of your brain for a moment and see if this agrees with you intellectually. What do you think? Feel free to comment!
Velomobile 2 Requirements
- 1+1 Seating – ability to carry small child along
- Stability – Around corners, over bumps, under braking (no rear wheel lift under maximum braking) as well as aerodynamic, at rest, and at high speed
- Light weight – <45lbs
- Collapsible for ease of storage and transport, no longer than 8’
- Quickly convertible from head-in to head-out, ventilation suitable for all seasons
- Easily fits through 29? doorways
- High visibility – both rider to outside world and velo to others (pedestrians, car traffic), in day/night and all weather conditions
- Customizable body to suit different personal preferences and body styles
- Can be stored in floor area no larger than cross-sectional area of velo
- Forward, side impact and rollover protection for both rider and pedestrian
- Easily and quickly lockable and securable
- Quiet as typical bike
- Low maintenance and highly abuse tolerant from rough roads, speedbumps, curbs
- Serviceable by local bike shops
- Quickly adjustable to suit different size riders
- Easy ingress/egress
- Consumer price of $4500