How UrmO is redefining urban mobility

As lives get busier, most people are exploring ways to make commuting on roads faster. While cars are as good as a necessity nowadays, people are not too keen on getting stuck in traffic jams. In addition, the greater focus on sustainable transport has given a new direction to urban mobility. As cities get more crowded, roads more congested and air more polluted, the world is exploring alternatives to regular commuting via petrol and diesel-driven vehicles, with the help of technology.

UrmO-the self-balancing electric vehicle, Image Credit: UrmO

In this search, a product that has been making waves is the self-balancing electric vehicle — UrmO. The 14-inch electric vehicle is designed very easy to board like a skateboard and comes in a compact size, which makes it really easy to carry around. It comes with a patented folding design, which means you can easily fold it for holding or packing it up in your briefcase so that you have a hand free to grab that morning coffee on your way to the office.

It’s so lightweight that you can easily fold it within two seconds. The tubeless tires and 14-inch wheels can make commuting seamless even in underground basements and lowered curbs. In countries like Germany, citizens are allowed to commute on such self-balancing vehicles even on cycle paths. What’s more, is that you never have to worry about getting a flat tire or rushing your vehicle to the mechanic for servicing and end up shelling out hundreds in repair every few months.

A person has to weigh at least 40 kilograms or 90 lbs to drive UrmO. On the other hand, the driver has to weigh less than 100 kilograms or 220 lbs to drive this electric vehicle. While you can easily negotiate your way through traffic while driving an UrmO, it is always advisable that you wear a helmet. This self-balancing electric vehicle has a host of features which makes it a game-changer in the sector. For starters, it comes with a 280Wh battery and a 1,800 hp motor. It can achieve a top speed of 15 km/hr and can give you a range of 20 kilometre or 13 miles. Weighing just 6.5 kilograms, you can charge an UrmO in just two hours. It is app-controlled and comes with an artificial intelligence-based steering.

You can lock the UrmO with an app on your smart phone. For additional security, you can also use a lock through the hubless wheels. You can charge at any standard power outlet with the charger which accompanies the package. There is also an optional handlebar for safety. You can request one while ordering the package. The handlebar can be fixed and dismounted to the vehicle in a matter of minutes. The company is expected to start production in the second half of 2020.

 The self-balancing electric vehicle is the brainchild of its three founders — Sebastian Signer, Felix Ballendat and Jacob Karbaumer. While Signer has had made a mark for himself as a business consultant and entrepreneur; both Karbaumer and Ballendat have worked as mechanical engineers for automobile giants like BMW and Tesla Motors. Ballendat had earlier developed a battery pack for Elon Musk-led Tesla. Karbaumer, who is the youngest of the three founders at 24, is a part of the team which has been working on the battery to power electric supercar Rimac Concept One. The three founders claim that their aim is to boost the efficiency of urban transport and thereby improving the quality of life in big cities. According to them, the ideal future of urban transport should involve fewer traffic jams, lesser noise, and greater room for mobility on roads.

The firm has been developing electronics used in its product for the last two-and-a-half years. The electric vehicle’s body is made from materials like aircraft-grade aluminum and carbon fiber. The company claims that the electric vehicle can cover a distance of at least 20 kilometres in a single charge, which takes approximately 45 minutes. Its’ founders claim that one can easily learn to self-balance on an UrmO in a matter of just 10 minutes. Look wise, it appears to be a hybrid design between a hoverboard and an electric scooter. A person can easily steer the vehicle by shifting their weight. Also, the 14-inch tires ensure a comfortable driving experience.

UrmO comes at a time when electric vehicles, especially electric scooters are taking the world by storm. For starters, Xiaomi M365 is a great example of how urban mobility can be used for seamless and hassle-free commuting. It comes with a 30-kilometre long-range batter life and one can fold it in just three seconds. It also boasts of a double braking system for extra safety.

Segway Ninbot E64 is another electric scooter model that has gained a lot of traction. You can get a top speed of 18.6 mph and a range of 28 miles. It also comes with a dual battery, apart from mechanical and electrical brakes.

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