Luggage has undergone a bit of a renaissance over the last decade. Spinner wheels that rotate in all directions made bags more maneuverable, ultra-thin polycarbonate material made them lighter, and, most recently, smart features connected them to our wireless devices.
The next evolution, naturally, is to transform our bags into vehicles we can ride. Or probably not.
A start-up company called Modobag has invented a carry-on suitcase it calls “the world’s first motorized, rideable luggage.” Videos on Modobag’s website show smiling travelers seated on the back of their carry-ons, knees awkwardly hugging the bag, while their feet cling to a pair of fold-out pegs. The bags zip through the airport at speeds up to 8 mph.
Modobag can travel six miles before it needs to recharge. It also boasts a number of nice smart features, including dual USB ports and real-time GPRS-GSM tracking.
But let’s be blunt. Anyone riding one of these bags down the airport terminal will look ridiculous and will most likely be mocked by other travelers. There’s also no guarantee this thing, with its 150-watt electric motor and various mechanical parts, is getting through security.
Modobag may have raised enough cash on its Indiegogo campaign and generated a ton of positive press, but riding suitcases are not going to “change the way the world travels.” Here are three reasons why:
- The Modobag carry-on weighs 19 pounds, due to its motor, lithium batteries, and other parts. The average weight of a modern carry-on bag is about 8 pounds, which increases to 15 to 20 pounds when packed with clothes and other belongings. Modobag weighs that much empty. Most travelers will struggle to lift this bag into the overhead compartment of a cramped airplane.
- Modobag costs $995. That hefty price tag puts it in the luxury category for luggage and out of consideration for the vast majority of travelers. A luxury smart bag by the leader in the segment, Bluesmart, costs less at $549.
- Modobag doesn’t actually solve any travel problems. The company makes the claim that riding it will get you to your flight three times faster than walking, but the real reason it takes so long to get through the airport is due to long lines at security and crowded terminals, neither of which a riding bag will resolve.