Just had a test ‘drive’ of quite an unusual new Honda: the U3-X.
Honda, you may remember, regards itself as a mobility company above all and this is a fruit of that thinking. It’s a single-wheeled electric mobility device - I’ve started calling it a uniscooter but feel free to give it your own name.
It’s a wierd experience using the thing though. It’s perfectly balanced and can stand up on its own. So you sit on it and move your weight in the direction you want to go and it can go in any direction: a clever omni wheel (developed from Honda’s ASIMO robot project) allows you to go forwards, backwards, sideways and even diagonally.
It looks intimidating at first and it’s a peculiar experience, especially when you’re crabbing your way across the carpet at up to 4mph. But after 30 seconds it becomes incredibly intuitive to use.
The bad news is that we won’t be able to buy one any time soon. For a start they’ll be shockingly expensive at first (the thing is constructed from carbonfibre) and Honda claims the tech isn’t quite up to scratch yet.
But that clever omni-wheel has all sorts of future potential apparently. It would make parking your car a lot easier for a start.