Two suitcases will be available in 2018 for travelers who want to make their way through an airport as conveniently as possible. The Forwardx CX-1 is a self-driving suitcase that can automatically follow its owner and avoid any obstacles that may appear on its path. The Modobag suitcase also has an electric motor that enables it to roll along long corridors, but it lets the owner sit on it and ride the suitcase to the gate.
Let’s not worry if these motorized suitcases are silly inventions because many travelers will buy them anyway. Perhaps these products lead to other new travel gear that actually are useful and smart products. Equipping a suitcase with an electric motor, battery, tiny computer and special software adds plenty of price to a simple product. For instance, the Modobag costs USD 1500. In addition, travelers must remember to charge the suitcase before heading to an airport because it won’t move anywhere if the battery is empty.
The Forwardx CX-1 self-driving suitcase comes with a 170-degree wide-angle camera lens and laser radars that allow the CX-1 monitor its surroundings. First, the owner must teach the suitcase how he or she looks like so that it knows who to follow. The face recognition software in the suitcase identifies the owner. The CX-1 can also recognize gestures that let the owner control the suitcase. Radars look for obstacles to be avoided.
The maximum speed of the CX-1 is 11 km/h (7 mph), so you can jog to the gate if necessary. The battery life is four hours, unless you use the battery to charge your other gadgets. The suitcase can be used as a power bank as well. Pricing and ordering information can be viewed at the product’s home page.
Cnet tried out the CX-1 and recorded a video clip that shows how the face recognition and automatic follow features work:
The designers of the Modobag suitcase have taken another approach to the luggage pulling problem: this suitcase lets the traveler sit on it and ride it to the gate (or to a bar if there is time for a relaxing break).
The suitcase that lets you ride on it doesn’t come cheap, it is priced at USD 1500. Having a luggage with throttle and brakes may well be worth it.
Here is a video clip that shows a man riding on the Modobag:
Modobag specifications and features:
Belt driven, high-torque 150 Watt electric motor
Top speed 13 km/h (8 mph)
Speed Control – Indoor and Outdoor Settings
Thumb Action Throttle
Battery range 13 km / 8 miles (based on 82 kg /180 lb rider)
80% charge in 15 minutes, full charge in 1 hour
Dual Wheel Braking System
High Performance CNC-Machined, Sealed-Bearing Steering Column
Telescoping Aluminum Handlebar Assembly
Extendable Towing Handle
Side Mounted Pockets – 8″x11.5″ for tablets, 5″x6″ for phones
Dual USB Charging Ports
56 cm / 22″ long, 23 cm / 9″ wide, 35 cm / 14″ tall
Bag Weight – 9 kg / 20 lbs
Max Rider Weight – 180 kg / 260 lbs