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Lexus innovation scheme goes Back to the Future to create working hoverboard

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The firm’s Amazing in Motion campaign was created to produce “innovative Lexus expressions of design, technology and creativity”. The latest development in the ongoing movement is the Slide project, which features the arrival of the Lexus Hoverboard.

The gadget, which is reminiscent of the one ridden by Marty McFly in the classic 80s movie Back to the Future Part II, has been revealed following 18 months of design, development and technology planning.

In order to make the dream a reality, Lexus teamed with scientists trained in magnetic levitation technology. From there, they collectively set about building the hoverboard and accompanying hoverpark, which houses a 200 metre magnetic track beneath the surface.

“We set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible, collaborating with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion,” said Mark Templin, EVP, Lexus International.

Achieving the ability to hover with magnetic opposition from the park, the board also comprises two cryostats, reservoirs which contain superconducting material, kept at -197°C through immersion in liquid nitrogen.

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Dr Oliver de Haas explained: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and track – essentially keeping the board in a hover. The force is strong enough that the rider can stand and even jump on the board.”

Following weeks of testing at the location, which was built specially near Barcelona, pro skateboarder Ross McGouran was the man responsible for test driving the car maker’s board.

McGouran confirmed using a board is rather challenging as he said: “I’ve spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance you need to ride the hoverboard.”

As it stands, Lexus claims the hoverboard will not be for sale – and it would be quite problematic for owners around the world to have to travel to Barcelona for somewhere to use one.

Templin concluded: “As we combined our technology and expertise, we discovered that making a hoverboard isn’t an easy process. We’ve experienced highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have created a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to create Amazing in Motion.”

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