TRON-like enclosed self-driving motorcycle could replace cars in cities
Author: Charles Bombardier
The Exocycle is a self-driving motorcycle with an enclosed cockpit, built so it can be used year round. Two electromagnetic tracks run around the vehicle’s exoskeleton to propel it and instead of sitting ‘on the bike’, you sit inside its frame. The Exocycle can also be paired to ride in a ‘pack’ containing up to six vehicles.
With a narrow width, motorcycles take less space on the street, and they consume less energy compared to most cars. However, riding one in the rain or during winter makes them less attractive. In 1982, I saw the cult movie TRON and since then, I’ve always wanted to build and ride an enclosed vehicle similar to the famous TRON light cycles. Imagine if you could commute to work in a self-driving bike without getting wet, cold or having to wear protective gear. To shape this concept into a form, I teamed up with Adolfo Esquivel and we came up with an interesting (and challenging) design.
How it works
Each Exocycle would contain a magnetic levitation system designed to move its twin rubber tracks around its exoskeleton. The guide for the tracks would form the frame and magnets would create the lift and propulsion necessary to displace the rubber tracks and propel the Exocycle (see Maglev train). Each track would be able to move and accelerate at a different speed to change the direction of the vehicle. If this system seems complicated, simply picture it with two 30 kW liquid-cooled electric motors that each propel a high-velocity track.