John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
It's what James Bond would do, apparently.
People might take this rideable suitcase to be an April Fool's joke, but if so it's remarkably well planned. The company responsible announced it weeks ago and is taking reservations on PayPal. Preorder for $2,995 and you can invest in something more ridiculous than a Segway (and, at 27 pounds, is also the world's heaviest briefcase).
The Commute-Case is a supposedly in-development product from Green Energy Motors, which is billing the electric-powered concept as "Your Urban In-Between Commute Solution." "NO GASOLINE TO BUY," the company's website blares. "NO TAILPIPE EMISSIONS NO DOWNTOWN TRAFFIC GRIDLOCK NO PARKING SPACE NEEDED." Also "NO" information that I can locate on when this hypothetical vehicle might hit the road. But people who reserve today get a free T-shirt they can stare at anxiously whiling away the hours; it reads, "RID'IN MY BRIEFCASE AROUND TOWN."
Here's grainy B&W footage of the Commute-Case in action, set to the James Bond theme. It really makes you hope the next Bond installment has a scene of the super-spy dodging enemies on top of his briefcase, whose compartment has popped open to send reams of paper and a sack lunch flying all over the street. Skip to 0:50 for the good stuff:
And these animations show how the folding briefcase is supposed to work. You can't see it, but the device is supposed to include a cup holder: