The world has been waiting for hoverboards and flying cars ever since Marty McFly went Back to the Future. Lexus is as impatient as we are, so they’ve developed their own working hoverboard. We got a first look of this wonder back in June, and a bit later there was video from Barcelona, Spain. Yes, real people are shown floating along and falling off of this wondrous new toy.
It hovers through the use of liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets which lift the hoverboard off the ground a few inches. It hovers, but it does not fly. It sits only 3 to 4 inches above the ground, lower with the weight of a person. This gives it ground clearance of about one inch when it’s in use.
It also requires a magnetic rail beneath the hoverboard to create a field on which the superconductors can hover. Lexus built a special skateboard park specifically to show off their tech with the rails mostly hidden, but you can see them as the board skims across some water. In addition to a whole park, it also needs a liquid nitrogen refill every ten minutes. The future is here, sort of.
Disappointing news if you had visions of flying through town like Marty, but great ideas often start small. It might not be Back to the Future worthy yet, but the Lexus hoverboard makes the possibility we’ll someday be traveling like Marty a little more likely.
Toyota is also getting into the act with Marty (Michael J. Fox) and Doc (Christopher Lloyd) talking about what the films got right and what they got wrong. It’s all to promote the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Toyota Mirai which comes today.
There’s good reason to celebrated the franchised today. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future day, the exact date Marty has to return to in the second film in order to save his unborn children.
Now, where’s that pesky DeLorean gotten to these days?