Segway on steroids?

Could Toyota be taking a page out of Segway inventor Dean Kamen's book for a personal transporter?

Sure looks like it. The carmaker is displaying the Segway-on-steroids looking I-Unit concept at the New York International Auto Show.

Credit: John G. Spooner

The single-seat I-Unit, which rolls on four wheels, pulls itself upright for motoring slowly around on sidewalks or shopping at a grocery store, a company spokeswoman said.

But it can also fold down into a prone position and accelerate to highway speeds of about 60 mph, she said.

The concept vehicle--which uses electric motors and a lithium-ion battery to power its two rear wheels--also uses cameras to monitor traffic, splashing images of other I-Units and their drivers on like a heads-up display on the backside of its windshield. It uses fingerprint identification for security purposes.

No word on custom wheels, though.


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