Teijin Limited announced that thermoplastic materials made with its Tenax carbon fiber and Panlite polycarbonate alloy resin have been adopted for use in the world’s first laptop-sized automated people mover (APM), Walkcar, developed by Cocoa Motors. Inc.
Walkcar is small enough to be carried in a bag, measures just 21.5 cm by 34.6 cm (roughly the size of a 13-inch laptop computer), and weighs only 2.9 kg. It can travel about 7 km at a maximum speed of 16 km/h on a single charge. Operated by simply shifting one’s center of gravity, the APM requires neither a handle nor controller, and stops automatically as soon as the operator steps off.
This sturdy but lightweight APM is made with Teijin’s Tenax TPCL thermoplastic carbon fiber reinforced laminates, Tenax TPWF thermoplastic woven fabric and Panlite polycarbonate alloy resin. Compared to steel, Tenax offers 10 times the strength at just one quarter of the weight. Panlite polycarbonate resin boasts some 200 times more impact resistance than fiberglass but only half of the weight. The impressive characteristics of these Teijin materials is why Walkcar is able to combine low weight with high durability.
Walkcar went on sale in Japan this June, and overseas sales began from August 11th.