Meet Mo; more mildly off-topic meanderings
October 25, 2011 § 1 Comment
Yes, it’s a bike in this picture – and yes, it is a glimpse of the future. Or so say the Munich team behind Mo, a mobility-management concept which has been tested in the city. Mo members download a smartphone app which clocks up their use of transport option – renting or borrowing shared bikes (including cargo bikes, like the one pictured), electrically-assisted bikes and cars, plus public transportation, all bought via a single swipecard. They score ‘momiles’ on a balance – positive for cycling, for example – which can then be used in the car-share; those who already own bikes can have a transponder tag fitted to their bike, rather than borrowing a Mo machine. The app also includes train and bus timetables. Expect to see more of this type of thing, especially corporate versions to be introduced as replacements for company fleets or ‘pool’ cars. Mo is a partnership between the University of Wuppertal, Munich design agency Lunar Europe, and the Green City Initiative; more here. Cargo bikes: they’re great, though not quite the thing for hilly cities like Brighton…
- On the flipside of things, Grist has an absolutely outrageous story from a town called Hull in Wisconsin. The city wants to outlaw pedestrians, runners and cyclists from certain streets, or ask them to file ‘transport plans’ each time they want to use the streets. Apparently this is due to ‘safety concerns’ though there’s not been a traffic accident involving a pedestrian, runner or cyclist in the place since 2008, and before then incidents only numbering one a year. Why? Share the roads, people.
- Another glimpse of the future (perhaps; longer-range) at CarBodyDesign: Holistica, a series of personal mobility concepts based around health and well-being, including an advanced skateboard, a surfboard-type device and a buggy using ‘vector thrusting’. These, the work of Art Center Pasadena graduate Eric Miller, incorporate ideas from the world of robotics and aerospace; interesting thing is that the project was aided by Dassault Systems. Miller’s now “working with several automotive companies who seek to diversify their business with alternative mobility solutions”, says CBD.