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cool-fun-coolest-top-best-new-latest-high-technology-electronic-gadgets-gifts-idea-I am pretty sure I saw this on Futurama last night, although it was moving at a higher rate of speed. Meet the Shweeb, your own private pod that is attached to a monorail of sorts and powered by pedaling, much like you do on a bike.

It’s one of five ideas that have won a share of the $10 million prize money stumped up by Google for its Project 10100 competition – 10100 is 1 googol – which called for “ideas to change the world”.

Seeing how you movement is done by human power, there are carbon emissions or use of fossil fuels. Add this to the fact that the monorail is 5 meters above ground, thus reducing footprint erosion and wildlife disturbances. Not to mention the amazing view you will have while travelling.

An average person can easily sustain a speed of 20-30kmph for an extended period of time, but what about an uphill climb? Imagine if your whole commute was uphill.

‘There are two ways a vehicle can attain speed. One is to fit the vehicle with a bigger engine to burn more fuel. The other is to reduce the resistances acting against the vehicle. The Shweeb proves that by intelligently removing resistances, the energy required to move a vehicle becomes very small. So small in fact that it becomes possible to dispense with the mechanical engine and utilise the organic engine that the human passenger already carries – muscle power.’

The Shweeb’s developers bagged $1 million, and will put the money towards developing a system to be used by city commuters. They claim it could carry up to 1200 people an hour. A 200-metre-long test track where the pods can reach speeds of 50 kilometres per hour is already operating as a tourist attraction in Rotorua, New Zealand.

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