Is the Shweeb Ready for Prime Time?
The Shweeb is derived from the German "Schweben", meaning to float or suspend. A logical name for a device invented by a New Zealander living in Tokyo. Commenters had issues when we wrote about it last year, But somebody likes it; It just won a million bucks in the Google 10100 competition. Google writes:
Shweeb is a concept for short to medium distance, urban personal transport, using human-powered vehicles on a monorail. We are providing $1 million to fund research and development to test Shweeb's technology for an urban setting.
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There are benefits over a regular bike, including an aerodynamic shell, protection from the weather, and the increased speed that comes from the drafting effect when the shweebcars move together.
I think that Chris Hardwicke's Velo-City of elevated bicycle highways is perhaps a better option. It is "a high speed, all season, pollution free, ultra-quiet transit system that makes people healthier. Using an infrastructure of elevated cycle tracks, velo-city creates a network across the City." You can pass, and you can use your own bike.
But personal preferences aside, it is a great step forward for human-powered transport.