Smart transport is the new buzzword at UKZN’s Mechanical Engineering Department. And tomorrow (November 17) students and academics will show off two of their latest innovations in smart transport technology along the North Beach promenade from 5-7am.
Early start? Yes. But it is definitely worth the visit. These two innovations may just be the answer to steering eThekwini towards environmentally friendly transport. The demo tomorrow aims to promote the use of the vehicles as alternative modes of transport for the “city of the future”.
The Smart Technology Pedal Bus and the Human Operated Recumbent – Electric Trike (THOR-ET) are aimed at transforming the way commuters travel in eThekwini, and early-morning beachgoers may get the opportunity to ride the pedal bus. Both vehicles will travel from around the Joe Cool’s restaurant to Blue Lagoon and back.
So get an early start tomorrow, get down to the North Beach promenade and take a look at the vehicles of the future.
Here’s a bit of info about the two vehicles:
Smart Technology Pedal Bus
The bus is propelled by a number of people – the driver sits at the front of the vehicle, controlling the steering, braking and power assistance, while rows of people sit on bike seats and pedal to help power it forward. An electric motor, which uses solar technology, helps to partly power the bus. If the passengers need to rest, the motor can be switched to take over at full power. Unique provision has also been made to incorporate the serving of refreshments on a tabletop in the centre of the bus.
The Human Operated Recumbent – Electric Trike is a three-wheeled vehicle propelled by a single electric hub motor, with the addition of human pedal power for assistance up steep inclinations.