Apple’s Next Big Thing: An Electric, Self-Balancing Motorcycle

It's a pod, people

By Kirk Miller

 
C1
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22 September 2016

The days of the gnarly motorcycle accident might be over.

Apple is in talks with San Francisco’s Lit Motors — a startup funded in part by Alphabet CEO Larry Page and surfer Kelly Slater — about a potential acquisition. Their target? Lit’s C-1 self-balancing electric motorcycle.

More of a expansive glass pod than a motorcycle, the C-1 encloses a driver and passenger (or luggage) and utilizes a “car-like interface” to steer (“If you can drive a car, you can drive a C-1,” claims the company’s site). The gyroscopic system controls the vehicle’s tilt and keep the vehicle upright, even in a collision.

Other cool features: climate control, high-end sound system, heavy smartphone/cloud integration and safety features like airbags that wouldn’t be found on a bike. 

Plus, it’s all-electric, with a top speed of 100 mph and a range of 200 miles per charge. It accelerates from 0-60 in six seconds.

“It takes the safety and comfort of a car and marries it with that with the romance and efficiency of a motorcycle,” Lit Motors CEO Daniel Kim told Forbes when the project started in 2012.

Since then, there have been issues: Kim had an accident in 2015, and the company has been through layoffs and periods of inactivity. However, they’re still taking orders for the $24,000 bike — and Apple might be targeting the company’s patents more than the prototype.

The iPhone giant has had its own issues with vehicles — as the Times noted, Apple’s recently had layoffs in their self-driving car division and talks with automaker McLaren have stalled.

Hey, just make sure it comes with a headphone jack, and we'll look forward to it.

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