The concept

The Daburu is an electric personal transporter capable of moving people of all ages anywhere within a city from the ease of a seated position. It is clean, quiet, comfortable, and narrow enough to go nearly anywhere, including bike paths and other areas of limited space. With speeds of up to 50 kph and a range of 50 km on a single charge, the Daburu gives its rider the freedom and reach of conventional motor vehicles in a personal package. The vehicle is also equipped with a wireless charging system similar to Bombardier’s primove technology which allows re-charging without plugs when it is parked in a designated spot.

The Background

The Daburu was developed as a natural evolution of the Zeus Prototype, which was also a two-wheeled personal transportation device. The Daburu comes with several upgrades, including an optional roof to protect the driver from adverse weather. When you pronounce ‘Daburu’ in Japanese it means double, referring to the side-by-side wheels that uses the same balancing technology as the Segway.

How it works

Segway part could be used to create the base of the vehicle. A comfortable padded seat would be installed on the unit’s base, and a small suspension would absorb shocks coming from the road. To move the vehicle forward the pilot would simply push the control forward and with the assistance of an electric motor the seat would move beyond the centre of gravity. The vehicle’s wheel would then rotate forward to compensate, just like on a Segway.

To turn left or right, the pilot would lean the controls in the desired direction. In the event of the Daburu losing power, a front skid plate under the feet of the rider could absorb the shock and safely stop the vehicle. The height of the vehicle’s ground clearance could also be adjusted depending on whether you are riding on a flat or bumpy surface. The ergonomic position could be adapted like the footrest located at the front and the seat’s angle

What it’s used for

The Daburu would be an enjoyable vehicle to ride around if you live nearby the city centre because you would be able to use it to go to work without have to take you 4,000-pound car and burn fuel. You would be protected from rain and wind and you would take less space on the road and in parking spots. You could even use it to go shopping.

The Daburu is not meant to replace a car, the subway or the bicycle. It is meant to address a niche market between all those modes of transportation. Another market is the one concerning people over a certain age and who have difficulty walking. They would rather ride around in a comfortable and efficient vehicle like the Daburu than using one of those silly four wheel electric scooters that are so often associated with traditional wheelchairs.

Cities could also rent them at specific points like the Bixi bicyles, though an important point would be to first make sure it’s legal to operate in your jurisdiction before investing in such a concept. Personal transporters and neighborhood electric vehicles were great ideas when they were introduced, but sales never really picked up in part because legislation concerning their usage was not in place when those vehicles were offered for sale.

The Designer

The Daburu concept was developed in collaboration with Matthew Betteker, an award winning industrial designer living in South Jutland, Denmark. Matthew graduated from the College for Creative Studies and works as a senior Designer for the LEGO group. Matthew has also produced the concept images for the Sea-Drone.