Emerging Tech

Lexus concepts envision lunar transport in the year 2220

If you’ve ever found yourself idly wondering what transport of the future will look like — not only on Earth but also on the moon — then Lexus has some concept sketches to feed your imagination.

Lexus worked the design studio ED2 to come up with some visionary concepts of how we could move around in the future. In a project called the Lunar Design Portfolio, designers were invited to create a “lunar mobility concept,” which covered everything from personal transportation for traveling across the moon’s surface to spacecraft for taking us to the moon from Earth.

Zero Gravity - K. Dujardin
K. Dujardin

Designer K. Dujardin came up with this “Zero Gravity” levitating motorbike concept, which floats above the ground instead of traveling on wheels. As outlandish as this concept is, it would be marginally easier to achieve technology like this on the moon as opposed to on Earth because the gravity is so much lower. That means less force is required to get a massive object like a bike and a rider to levitate.

However, there would be the usual challenges of levitating technology to deal with — particularly issues around maintaining balance and directional control. So don’t expect astronauts to be whipping around the surface of the moon on floating bikes any time soon.

Jean-Baptiste Henry

This transport ship concept by Jean-Baptiste Henry is designed to move both through space and across the lunar surface. The squid-like shape would have large panels of sculpted glass so people inside could enjoy the stunning views of space, making it into a kind of flying observatory as well as a practical transport vehicle.

The concept also invites users to experience and play in a low-gravity environment, with the rear section forming a “space swimming pool” where travelers could relax and contemplate the stars as they float weightlessly.

Bouncing Moon Roller, by Julien Marie
Julien Marie

There’s also a bouncing moon roller designed by Julien Marie, in which a rider is protected by a sphere made of flexible graphene nanotube material which acts as a bubble to provide breathable air and an easy way to move over rough terrain. The sphere can bounce and roll over obstacles like rocks, craters, and hills, and is able to move at any angle to navigate the moon’s surface.

These concepts remain a long way from anything that is possible with current technology, but they do provide some ideas about what transport could look like in the far future. To see more of these concepts, you can head to the Lexus website.

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