Mobility experts estimate that by 2050 we won't be driving at all. The autonomous car will be so widespread that the human factor will be excluded in practically everything related to driving vehicles.
Millennials and zetas will have an easier time than members of previous generations getting used to this scenario. As José Francisco Monserrat, World Bank advisor on transport and 5G, explains, many do not even get a driver's license anymore because they prefer (or have no choice) to use a car, bike, motorcycle or shared scooter. Or public transport.
That is why Poimo, a prototype of an electric bicycle or inflatable scooter designed by a team from the University of Tokyo, in collaboration with the company Mercari r4D, is aimed especially at them.
Poimo (whose name comes from Portable and Inflatable Mobility) is designed for the so-called last-mile trips (the one from the subway stop to our destination, for example). According to the creators of the project, this type of travel is 60% in cities such as Tokyo and is therefore responsible for a large part of traffic congestion and greenhouse gases.
The vehicle is foldable and needs to be inflated to use it. Et voilà, ready to be assembled.
Poimo is made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), a light but very resistant material. The rigid components of the inflatable bike (including the four wheels, the handlebars, the motor and the battery), barely add up to 5.5 kg, making it easily transportable in a bag or backpack. Its creators assure that the next designs will be even lighter.
They also claim that its lightweight structure also provides extra safety for pedestrians in the event of an accident, thus creating "a new relationship between people and mobility". Will we soon see them on our streets?