Hyundai's E4U (the four E's are Egg, Evolution, Electricity and Eco-friendliness) has a rotating front "sphere" allowing the 180-pound vehicle to go in any direction. Meanwhile, the vehicle, which includes a helmet that apparently doubles as the top of the "egg," has 500-watt motor that delivers a top speed of about 18 miles per hour. It's sort of like a Segway with a shell.
Efficient personal transport vehicles aren’t exactly a pristine example of new technology — they’ve been around for a while. Motorized scooters, mopeds, and the immortal Segway have all tried their hand at improving the way humans make their daily travels. None have caught on in any major way, though.
New York City is filled with people irritatedly waiting for subways, irritatedly attempting to catch cabs, or irritatedly rushing toward their destination on foot. Everyone’s late everywhere, and it’s not really their fault — they just don’t have a reliable way to get around. At the Seoul Motor Show this year, Hyundai debuted a concept for its personal mobility vehicle (PMV), the E4U. Though it’s shaped like an egg with training wheels sticking out of the back — certainly difficult to chain to a bike rack — the E4U is aimed to be an efficient vehicle for personal transport.
The eggmobile can maneuver in any direction even though its motor only moves in one. What makes this possible is, rather than a traditional tire, the E4U uses a semisphere that can rotate in all directions; it’s riding around on a ball. When the top of the semisphere is touching and vertically aligned to the ground, the vehicle moves by rotating the semisphere horizontally.
Since the vehicle sits atop and is able to move due to what is a multidirectional ball, the two training wheels prevent the E4U from spinning uncontrollably. In order to move the vehicle in any direction without hindrance from the training wheels, the E4U simply tilts in a direction, lifting the wheels up off the floor. If that sounds complex, it works similarly to the way a helicopter works. Imagine the semisphere as the blades, and the training wheels as the tail rotor.