Wiz Khalifa took a stance on self-balancing scooters this weekend in Los Angeles after being apprehended by authorities at LAX for refusing to get off his SmartS1. The “See You Again” Rapper took to Twitter with a bold statement: “I stand for our generation and our generation is gonna be riding hover boards so if you don’t like it eat a d*ck!”
The new-fashioned mode of transportation, however, isn’t just picking up coast-to-coast in the US — out West in California or in the streets of NYC — but is seeing similar early reactions in the Southern Hemisphere, all the way down under.
Australians are adopting the new technology, and the Sydney Morning Herald spotlights the action on the streets of of its city. The news outlet finds Brendan Wong on his nontraditional commute to work for an interview and demonstration.
Wong chooses not to walk, but to glide with his “Airwheels” electric unicycle — or as he describes it, “almost like hovering, floating, flying a few inches off the ground.”
“A lot of people do stop me in the street and ask me what it is. There’s a lot of laughs, there’s a lot of giggles, there’s a lot of, ‘wow, what’s that’.”
Featured is the X8 model, one of “Airwheels” few one-wheeled self-balancing scooters featured in addition to their SmartS1 and more standard segway products.
Like Wiz Khalifa in Los Angeles, Mr. Wong has also had to answer to authorities for his use of the technology as he’d been stopped by police but managed to avoid a fine. A spokesman for the Transport of NSW (New South Wales) told Sydney Morning Herald that “the device may be ridden only on areas that are not designated a road or a road-related area such as off-road or on private grounds,” and went on to explain the conflict:
“The devices did not comply with minimum safety vehicle standards. Therefore it cannot be registered, which means it cannot be used on road or road-related areas in NSW.”
The story was published earlier this month, nearly two weeks prior to Wiz Khalifa’s more public encounter, but now seems to have foreshadowed the potential for an acceptance vs resistance with self-balancing scooters, where riders are catching onto the future of travel and regulators of travel will have to be catching up.