Motorail

The concept

The Motorail is an electric motorcycle concept equipped with four inline in-wheel motors. It was designed to run inside a concrete track at speeds exceeding 200 mph. It can also ride on normal roads and highways with its built-in gyroscopic balancing system.

The background

I was always fascinated by the Walt Disney Monorail system. It was sleek, futuristic, and it held the promise of an exciting future in urban mass transit. In the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in monorails. Bombardier Transportation is currently building two Innovia Monorail systems: one for the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and one for Sao Paolo, Brazil. The inspiration for the Motorail comes in part from these projects. However, I wanted an individual/hybrid system that would let users continue their voyage home, cover great distances and let them drive at high speeds.

How it works

The Motorail is a two-passenger vehicle equipped with four inline wheels. Each of the four inline wheels is fitted with an electric motor similar to the ones developed by TM4 or Protean Electric. The vehicle is also equipped with side wheels that serve to keep the vehicle aligned when it’s riding at high speeds on the Monorail concrete track. These side wheels could also deploy on the vehicle’s side like the Peraves Monotracer. or it could us a gyroscopic device like the one found on the C1 from Lit Motors. The ideal target would be to reach a top speed of 300mph in the concrete track. This means you could commute to work in 10 minutes if your house were located 50 miles away. Of course, this will depend on the aerodynamics of the vehicle and the motor’s performance.

It might not be possible to reach those speeds today, but one day it will be. It’s exciting to have superbikes on the market that can reach speeds of up to 200 mph, but it’s not legal or even safe to ride them this fast. But what if you could ride a faster machine in a safer environment? The front steering system would be similar to the one used on the Bimota Tesi 3d (see video). A front spoiler would deploy at high speeds to increase downward force and traction. Of course, there’s are lots of other features, including a driverless system that would control the Motorail for you inside the track to manage traffic securely, and a wireless battery-charging system.
What it’s used for

This Motorail could ride like a motorcycle when it exits the track. You could park it in your garage  and/or leave it to drive itself to another customer if you use the Motorail Sharing System or a fractional ownership program. There are a lot of questions that will arise for such a concept ideation. Maybe the top speeds are extremes. Probably the vehicle should be less complex. Think about it, and let me know how you would improve it.

The designer

I would like to thank Xavier Gordillo who created the images of the Motorail concept. Xavier studied Car Design at Europe Design Institute (IED) and he works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Xavier also created the images for the Gemini twin deck bus.

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