Add 'car that fits in small bag' to reasons you love Japan

A Japanese engineer has designed a new portable transportation device that could mean the end of the parking spot as we know it. It is called the WalkCar, which designer Kuniako Saito calls a "car in a bag."

Saito is an engineering student and CEO of Cocoa Motors. His lithium battery-powered transporter looks like an overturned iPad on wheels. Don't let the smallness fool you. This tiny transportation device can handle 265 pounds of weight. After a short, three hour charge it can travel 6.2 miles per hour and can a distance of up to 7.4 miles. That is farther than most Japanese people walk per day, and much farther than the average American, according to the New York Times.

There is an indoor version as well as a sturdier outdoor version. The CarWalk meant for outdoor use still only weighs 6.6 pounds and easily slips into a backpack or computer bag when not in use.

Operating the CarWalk is incredibly easy as well. The user just steps on the the device to start it and steps off to stop it. Changing direction is as simple as shifting your weight, much like Honda's UNI-CUB concept, though Honda's sit-down device is only meant for indoor use and can only travel 3.7 mph, with a range of 3.7 miles at a speed of 2.5 mph. The 26-year-old Saito told Reuters that he developed the CarWalk as part of his engineering degree.

"I thought, "what if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn't that mean we'd always have our transportation with us to ride on?" and my friend asked me to make one, since I was doing my masters in engineering specifically on electric car motor control systems," Saito told Reuters.

Cocoa Motors will be taking advanced orders for the CarWalk via a Kickstarted campaign later this year. It's the perfect gift for alternative transportation enthusiasts who aren't cool enough for a skateboard but are too cool for a Segway.

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