Click above for high-res images of the Twill Wicked
Vehicles with a single track, i.e. two wheels inline with each other like a bicycle as opposed to a Segway, can go places that their four-wheeled brothers and sisters cannot. Plus, having just two contact patches reduces friction and drivetrain losses, making for a more efficient design. All of those attributes have been built into the Twill, a concept vehicle that has been entered into NASA's Create the Future Design Contest. Designer Chris Tacklind envisions the Twill Wicked as being powered by batteries, using electric motors for propulsion. Solar power could be provided by a panel as small as 6 foot by 7 foot and the Twill could reach speeds of up to 85 miles per hour. We're a little unsure of how practical the concept's self-leveling system would be, as it would require a unicycle-like forward and backward rocking motion when the vehicle stops.
Tacklind calls for some unique safety features, including the aforementioned computer-controlled leveling system along with both air bags and bean-bag-like devices that would stiffen upon impact. The vehicle would be able to fold, resulting in a shortest wheelbase of just 4-feet and an extended high-speed wheelbase of ten-feet. It's an interesting concept, but one we don't expect to see right around the corner.