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The Age

Saturday February 27, 2010


HERE'S a clever idea, promoting the future form of inner-city transport and the answer to the growing problem of what to do with all those old car tyres.Mexican student Sergio Benjamin Luna Soto has entered this futuristic orange orb in an international competition called the 2010 Michelin Challenge Design, which pushes the boundaries of car design to new levels.Called the "2028 One", the two-wheeled, single-seat transporter uses an electronic self-balancing mechanism, similar to a Segway, to create what he describes as a "light and clean" vehicle.It's meant for crowded cities where space is at a premium, and is best suited to short daily commutes such as the run to and from work or school.The vehicle is steered using a joystick and the windshield which retracts along with the dash to open up a space for the driver to get in or out of the vehicle can also glaze over to allow the 2028 One to project a virtual image of the world inlow-visibility conditions such as fog, rain and even darkness.Soto has also attempted to address the problem of used tyres, which at the moment are proving quite tough to recycle.His concept uses tread made from cylinders of recycled tyres that are compressed and then arranged into the form that the 2028 One uses.According to Soto, the vehicle is able to adjust the amount of air in the tyre as it rolls along the road, acting as a suspension system and also maximising the surface area of the tyre in contact with the road to ensure the highest level of grip.This year's Michelin Challenge Design is inviting entries based around the theme of "Plus 10: the Best is Yet to Come".It asks entrants to think about the vehicles people will be driving in the areas where they live in 2021.BARRY PARKFor more concept cars,go to

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