Lexus has revealed footage of a functioning hoverboard in action during a demonstration in a specially made skate park in Barcelona. Marty McFly eat your heart out!
The Lexus Hoverboard project began 18 months ago through a collaboration with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and Evico GmbH, which specialises in magnetic levitation technology.
Following extensive testing with pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider Ross McGouran, in Dresden, Germany, the team were determined to push the hoverboard to its limits and conduct further tests within dynamic surroundings at Cubelles, Barcelona.
“With this project we call ‘SLIDE’, we collaborated with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion,” said Mark Templin, executive vice president at Lexus International.
“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 captured the final ride footage and released it as a film led by award-winning director Henry-Alex Rubin.
The technology behind the Lexus Hoverboard
Since the Lexus Hoverboard was unveiled in June, testing has been carried out in a specially constructed hoverpark, combining elements from skate culture with technology within its architecture.
Up to 200m of magnetic track was transported to Barcelona from the Dresden facility to lay beneath the hoverpark surface in order to create the dynamic test, offering Lexus the opportunity to demonstrate tricks no skateboard could ever perform, like travelling across water.
The Lexus Hoverboard technology features two “cryostats”— reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197ºC through immersion in liquid nitrogen. The board is then placed above a track that contains permanent magnets.
“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,” Dr. Oliver de Hass, Evico CEO explained.
“This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board.”