One high-performance all-terrain wheelchair that’s already widely available is the Trekinetic, which features front wheel drive, a dynamic braking system, a nitrogen shock absorber and other features that should be simply expected in a wheelchair of the modern era. Most wheelchair designs are based on that of the antiquated metal tube chassis, which became obsolete among vehicles way back in the 1950s. The Trekinetic offers a lightweight carbon fiber Monocoque seat for comfort and support, and the big front wheels make it easier to get over obstacles.
While not designed specifically with disabled users in mind, Toyota’s i-REAL represents a possible step forward in the personal mobility department. Somewhere between a car and a scooter, the i-REAL automatically lengthens its wheelbase at higher speeds for more stability and shortens it to maneuver among pedestrians. Perimeter monitoring sensors detect when a collision with a person or object is imminent, alerting the driver by emitting a noise and vibrating.
Racing wheelchairs already look a lot like recumbent bikes, and BMW takes it to a new level with the ultra-sleek 2016 Rio Racing Wheelchairs for the upcoming Paralympic Games. Created in collaboration with the United States Paralympics Track and Field Team, the design features modernized aerodynamic efficiencies, carbon fiber construction and a personalized fit for each athlete.