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Lexus Hoverboard ride revealed, testing concludes

ABR Staff Writer Published 05 August 2015

Lexus, the luxury arm of Japanese automobile major Toyota, is finally bringing to the fore its Hoverboard project, unveiled in June, after completing a testing phase in Cubelles, Barcelona.

The Lexus Hoverboard project was initiated 18 months ago in association with scientists from IFW Dresden and Evico, specializing in magnetic levitation technology.

Testing was conducted in a specially constructed hoverpark, and up to 200 meters of magnetic track was transported to Barcelona to put beneath the hoverpark surface. The testing facility also had option for travelling across water.

Lexus International executive vice-president Mark Templin said: "Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible. With this project we call 'SLIDE', we collaborated with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion.

"Even through combining our technology and expertise, we discovered making a hoverboard isn't an easy process. We've experienced the 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."

Lexus has taken the final ride footage and released it as a film led by director Henry-Alex Rubin.

Skateboarder Ross McGouran, who performed the testing in Dresden, Germany, 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 in order to ride the hoverboard. It's a whole new experience."

The Lexus Hoverboard technology has two 'cryostats', the reservoirs having superconducting material at -197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen. The board was placed above a track containing permanent magnets.

Evico CEO Dr Oliver de Hass said: "The magnetic field from the track is effectively 'frozen' into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track?essentially keeping the board hovering. This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board."

Image: Testing of Lexus Hoverboard was conducted in a specially constructed hoverpark. Photo: courtesy of Lexus.