E-unicycle - the next hoverboard?

Friday, February 5, 2016

HOUSTON -- When it comes to traffic, people will do just about anything to get around delay. Native Houstonian Jason Garcia rides his Ninebot One e-unicycle to around downtown Houston to avoid congestion.

Personal transportation robots are all the rage in Asia, and Jason Garcia thinks it could be the next big trend here in the U.S. We learned the e-unicycle works using a gyroscopic balancing system, similar to a hoverboard.

Some Houstonians are using e-unicycles to get around downtown Houston and its traffic congestion.

"You have to have a little bit of balance," Garcia explains.

Garcia says it took him about four to five hours to learn how to use the machine. Now he rides it everywhere: "the gym, the grocery store, out to bars, don't want to drink and drive."

The Ninebot One can travel about 12-14 miles per hour and can even operate in the rain. But just like hoverboards e-unicycles are powered by the same lithium ion battery that's been blamed for those explosive fires.

Rice University professor Kyle Shelton says street safety is also concern.

"They raise a lot of the same questions about getting those modes, just like bikes and pedestrians to safely use the streets and safely use the sidewalks and make sure all of those modes can interact well together," Dr. Shelton says.

But if you're looking to buy, $800 pricetag might be the biggest concern. Still Jason believes it's an investment that will saves time, gas money, and stress...

So whether it's a fancy e unicycle or a Micro scooter, considering one of these less common commuter tools could help you beat the traffic.