Speaking with Bloomberg, Zhu stresses that the only obstacle he might encounter on his road to success is people’s skepticism. Come to think of it, most cars are only used by one person, so his prototype would be perfect in this sense. Add to the equation the fact that it’s electric and driverless, and you have the recipe for a hit. It would considerably improve traffic, cut down maintenance costs and be extremely convenient.
It’s been 5 years since Zhu first saw Ford’s Gyron and started working on the prototype he calls the 1703, which uses the same gyroscope technology already found in smartphones. He started his own company with angel investments and has gotten even more parties to share his ideal and pour cash into the project. The goal is to land another $30 million in investments to have the car produced; 2020 is the deadline set for it to go into mass-production.
“I was told by a potential investor that I have zero chance to make the idea work,’’ Zhu tells the publication. “But I firmly believe this is the future of urban transportation because it is exquisite, energy-saving and easy to manage. I have to make it.’’
One investor stresses that it’s this precise exquisiteness that might make buyers reticent at first. Once that out of the way, the gyrocar should be a hit. It’s got all the feats and the looks to be just that: it can drive autonomously or can be controlled by computer, it’s small (3 meters long and 1 meter wide), it has no steering wheel or acceleration pedal, it has a battery with a range of 100 km, and it can carry just one person. Plus, it looks like something you see in sci-fi movies.