It's not a car and it's not a motorcycle, in fact there's not yet a word to describe the type of vehicle envisioned by the Hermes; a three wheel self balancing concept manoeuvred by intuitive steering that redefines the sensation of single person transport - it's low trajectory flight without leaving the bitumen.

There are brilliant ideas everywhere you look throughout the Hermes design. Honda is unfortunetaly NOT developing the unique hydrogen powered concept by Swedish designer Tommy Forsgren that sees the rider positioned face down and head first supported by the chest on a "seat" atop the vehicle's frame. Forsgren developed the concept as a student and used the Honda logo as he saw the Japanese manufacturer as the most likely to manufacture the machine.

As speed increases the rider is shifted to a more horizontal posture and cornering is achieved intuitively, leaning left or right with knuckles outstretched over the road. The steering is related to the BMW StreetCarver skateboard and Fosgren points to this and other examples of bleeding-edge design as inspiration for his work at the site.In this case the dynamic motion through acceleration and turns is powered by a hydraulic system linked to a CPU.

As obvious from the Quicktime video available at the site, the use of two wheels at the front - rather than the back as in the traditional trike design - simply looks right. Just watching the potential of the face-Higfirst diving motion and crisp cornering makes you want to see for yourself.

The CPU "brain" processes and reacts to information relayed from the Active zone (sensors that measure the pressure of the riders chest on vehicle) to calculate acceleration and speed, and from the Gyro Matrix which provides the exact angles required and guides the pnuematic pistons that control up and down motion and canting position in turns.

Integrated helmet

The helmet acts as the key and it wont let you operate Hermes without it. An integral part of the vehicle rather than a mere safety accessory, the helmet includes the in-built headlight, full face visor and winged design that supports the neck by providing a lifting force that increases under accelleration.

Hydrogen Power Unit

Hermes' is totally driven by a hydrogen fuel cell located underneath the rider in the cetral part of the structure. The unit draws hyrdogen from on-board tank and air from intake on the frame. The tank is positioned in the safest possible place and is secured by framework the under rider. It's also easy to reach for straightforward re-feulling.

Innovate aesthetics

The wheels are designed for rider safety and performance as well as looking sensational. The single spoke, large hub and streamlined top guards protect the rider from injury - the wheel itself is the only exposed rotating part. The axis of the wheels is shifted on acceleration and steering pistons attached between arm joint and rim also form part of the CPU controlled movement. Round torsional springs in the front wheels provide suspension to enhance the smooth ride with the overall aim being to achieve exhilaration within the speed limits.

Visit to view a fantastic Quicktime Video of the concept in motion.

View gallery - 38 images