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Google Invests $1M in Shweeb's Bike-Powered Monorail

Shweeb Monorail
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.

Tags: bicycle, design, google, green, monorail, pedalpower, Project10100, shweeb, top, transportation