Toyota is ready to take us back to the future at long last. The company allegedly has a working prototype of a hoverboard, so bust out your poodle skirts and vintage rock and roll vinyls. Let’s light this candle.
Watch out, world. Toyota is heading back to the future.
The automaker has hinted it’s looking into flying cars. Now its Lexus luxury brand has actually built a working model of a hoverboard. That’s right, an actual working hoverboard. It’s real, but not for sale. Yet.
The board uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets, according to the Lexus website. The technology is already zooming around Toyota’s home country. A Japanese railway company last year set a new world speed record using a magnetic-levitation train. Toyota tipped its hand a year ago that it’s been experimenting with this for cars.
Before we get too carried away, let’s go to the video.
That was awesome… right up to the point where the guy puts his foot within an inch of the board and it ends. So let’s be honest here: that’s not a hoverboard. I’m willing to admit that Toyota may have come up with a working board where they squeezed superconductors and magnets into a small space, but it’s only going to work on a surface specifically built for it. There’s no way this guy is taking off across the parking lot in front of City Hall and crossing the grass, a pond and a footbridge. What they’re really going to be doing is a possibly enhanced version of a system where you can hover anything if you have strong enough magnets and enough metal to float them over.
Just as a reminder, Tony Hawk did this a few years ago.
That was enough to excite the extreme sports world, but as most observers noted, the board was too heavy for one person to even lift, to say nothing of dumping it off of a handrail in the park. If you watch that clip, Tony has to bend over and push the thing with both hands to get it up a small ramp before jumping on and riding it all of ten feet.
Sorry, sports fans. The hoverboard isn’t here and we have no idea how to actually make one. Yes… I’m a terrible person.
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