Urban Transport

Kia electric-assist pedal car would be dispersed like a SEED

Kia electric-assist pedal car ...
The SEED Car prototype on display in Las Vegas
The SEED Car prototype on display in Las Vegas
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The SEED Car  is pedalled by its driver, with a motor providing "a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless"
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The SEED Car  is pedalled by its driver, with a motor providing "a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless"
The SEED Car prototype on display in Las Vegas
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The SEED Car prototype on display in Las Vegas

Last week at CES 2019, Kia showcased an experimental system that tracks passengers' state of mind by monitoring facial expressions, heartbeat and other biomarkers. The futuristic fun didn't stop there, however, as the automaker also unveiled an electric-assist pedal car that could find use in the smart cities of tomorrow.

Known as the SEED Car, the four-wheel-drive vehicle is pedalled by its driver, with a motor providing "a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless." Although very little else was available in the way of specs, it is claimed to have an electric-assist range of 100 km (62 miles).

The idea is that the SEED would be carried aboard a larger autonomous shuttle vehicle, called the BIRD Car. The latter would cover distances too far for the former to be pedalled, such as highway trips between cities.

The SEED Car  is pedalled by its driver, with a motor providing "a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless"
The SEED Car  is pedalled by its driver, with a motor providing "a high degree of electric power assistance to make it effortless"

Upon getting to within 100 km of its destination, however, the BIRD would release the SEED, with the rider pedalling it the rest of the way and back on their own. In this way, city streets would be less congested with large highway-capable vehicles, which would instead be parked outside of urban centers.

Although it's hard to say if the SEED Car itself will ever actually reach production, readers who are interested in getting an electric-assist pedal car of their own might want to check out the Podbike, the Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid or the Velove Armadillo.

Source: Kia

2 comments
Bob Stuart
I hope this evolves quickly into a full velomobile with weather protection. For higher speeds it should just merge onto a robotic guideway for high speed safety and efficiency. These personal pods can brew coffee and otherwise coddle the commuter.
YuraG
Yes, Bob, in some 20 years this will morph into something akin to QuattroVelo. Those impatient can have the latter now for just EUR8k.