For those Back to the Future fans who have always wanted to have a hoon on a hoverboard, your day could be soon. Lexus has just launched one (for real!).
While there has been some trickery around hoverboards (see below video) this seems to be the real deal, however there’s a catch - it can only be used on a magnetic track and can’t be taken to any old skate park.
A release says the Lexus Hoverboard project began 18 months ago through a collaboration with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH, who specialised in magnetic levitation technology.
The Lexus Hoverboard:
“Following extensive testing with pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider Ross McGouran, in Dresden, Germany, the team were determined to push the hoverboard to its limits and conduct further tests within dynamic surroundings,” a release says.
"I've spent twenty years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I've had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride the hoverboard. It's a whole new experience,” said pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider Ross McGouran in a release.
Since the Lexus Hoverboard was unveiled in June, testing has been carried out in a specially constructed hoverpark, combining elements from skate culture with technology within its architecture, the release says.
“Up to 200 metres of magnetic track was transported to Barcelona from the Dresden facility to lay beneath the hoverpark surface in order to create the dynamic test, offering Lexus the opportunity to demonstrate tricks no skateboard could ever perform, like travelling across water. Lexus has captured the final ride footage and released it as a film led by award winning director Henry-Alex Rubin.”
The release says the Lexus Hoverboard technology features two “cryostats”, reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197 degrees (-127.22 degrees celsius) through immersion in liquid nitrogen.
The board is then placed above a track that contains permanent magnets.
Evico CEO Oliver de Hass said in the release: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track - essentially keeping the board hovering. This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board.”