When you think of monorails, you probably conjure up images of the famed Disney World shuttle or of a super-fast bullet train rocketing across Japan, not about recumbent bicycles housed in plastic tubes dangling from some roller coaster-like track
. The latter is essentially what the folks at Shweeb
have created, though, and Google thinks the idea is good enough for the company to invest $1 million in it. Shweeb placed in the top five of the Project 10^100
, a Google-funded competition to identify ideas that "help," for "helping" to reinvent urban transport.
The concept places pedal-powered pods on a track, but, unlike trains, the enclosed bikes produce no pollution, and can theoretically move faster than a bicycle on the ground (about 28 mph). The promo video after the break was taken from a facility in New Zealand that currently attracts tourists, but Shweeb hopes to use the Google
cash to give the system a serious test in an urban environment.