Hoverboard inventor designs a two-wheeled car

9th November 2023
Paige West

The automotive industry stands on the cusp of a revolutionary concept that has the potential to redefine personal transport – a two-wheeled vehicle envisaged by the inventive mind of Shane Chen.

Chen, a serial innovator whose portfolio boasts the gravity-defying Hoverboard and the self-balancing SoloWheel, now casts his gaze upon the automotive sector with his latest brainchild, named Shane. His vision? A two-wheeled car that offers not just a mode of transport, but an emblem of amusement and joy. "I’d been pondering over a two-wheeled car for years," Chen disclosed, acknowledging that the germ of the idea originated as a playful concept.

At the heart of the Shane vehicle lies a masterful manipulation of weight distribution that ensures stability – a trait shared with the Hoverboard yet achieved through markedly different means. "It's actually the opposite concept," Chen explained. Unlike his previous inventions that relied on an inverted pendulum effect for balance, the Shane car maintains equilibrium through its unique design – the centre of the car's gravity sits snugly below the axle of its large wheels, offering inherent steadiness.

Despite its stability at rest or at constant speed, the two-wheeled Shane faces challenges inherent to its design, particularly when confronted with the physics of movement and the unpredictable nature of roads. To counteract these forces, the car's passenger pod adjusts its position relative to the wheels, acting as a counterbalance during acceleration and braking.

Speaking of simplicity, the Shane car strips away the complex mechanical linkages and multipart suspensions typical of conventional four-wheeled vehicles. Steering becomes redundant; control is exerted solely through the differential speed of the wheels – much like the Hoverboard. This simplicity extends to the vehicle's parking capabilities, which Chen believes could be further enhanced with artificial intelligence and self-driving technology, eliminating the need for traditional steering mechanisms.

The Shane's concept is not merely about the innovative use of electronics for control; it's a vision for an efficient, electric future. Large wheels replace the smaller quartet, reducing friction and enhancing the vehicle's range on electric power. The potential inclusion of electric hub motors and regenerative braking systems further underscores the vehicle's eco-friendly credentials.

Yet, Chen's journey from concept to production is not without hurdles. The intricacies of automotive design, coupled with regulatory requirements, necessitate partnerships with established companies. Chen remains undeterred, driven by a lifelong passion for invention and a commitment to solving the puzzles that will shape tomorrow's transport landscape.

In an industry often bound by tradition and convention, the Shane car stands as a testament to the power of innovation and the relentless pursuit of solutions to unaddressed needs. Chen concludes with a reflection on his journey: "It's like a puzzle. You see things, you do things, and someday a certain puzzle piece fits."

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