An unusual motorised suitcase could soon be able to transport both you and your belongings to the airport at the same time.
The City Cab is a three-wheeled electrical suitcase, fitted with a steering grip, brakes, safety lights, a horn, a GPS device and a theft alarm. It can carry up to two passengers, seated on its side, travelling up to a speed of about 20 km per hour and a maximum distance of about 60km.
Running on a small-sized, rechargeable lithium battery placed inside the suitcase, travellers are able to use the entire interior of the suitcase, not having to sacrifice storage space for the battery.
The vehicle is light, weighing about 7kg, but could be a bit bulky for storage purposes, with its steering handle and wheels bulging out on the side when laid flat.
The idea for the unusual contraption came from He Liang, a Chinese farmer living near Changsha in the Hunan province of south-central China, who had been developing the concept for about 10 years. He has obtained a patent on the travelling suitcase and is eager to see it used on the roads soon, Taiwan's Want China Times reports.
The amateur creator, who has not been formally trained in engineering and completed only a primary school education, was reported to have been inspired to invent the suitcase after he forgot his luggage while travelling to pick up an award for a car safety system.
The City Cab joins a cast of other unusual travel gear and accessories that have been proposed in recent years. Last week, graduates from the Tunghai University in Taiwan designed a bizarre portable dining table for two that would "encourage conversation" during a meal.
The fold-away Napkin Table comes with straps at either end, to be placed around the neck, suspending the table between two people. There is enough space for two plates, while cups can be slotted into built-in holders. The fabric at each end even doubles as a bib, and there's an extra flap that serves as a washable napkin.
Last month, two graduates from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel came up with the 'b-tourist' band made with an elastic fabric stretched between two plane seat headrests which would allow passengers to "quietly eat, read a book, watch a movie and sleep without being disturbed" in their own private area.
But the device could also potentially block the backseat television screens of passengers sitting behind you, while also preventing passengers by the window seats from getting up to use the toilet or escaping in the event of an emergency.
In 2012, the architecture and design studio Kawamura-Ganjavian created the Ostrich Pillow, a portable device said to "enable power naps anytime, anywhere" while cautious beach lovers on China's crowded Qingdao coastline took sun protection to another level by donning "face-kinis", masks that shield the face from exposure to the sun. The face-kini covers the entire face except for the eyes, nose and mouth, and is often worn with a long-sleeved shirt or a full body wet suit for complete protection.
The Telegraph, London