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.

About the author

    John Spooner
    covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.

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