Ever since Back to the Future II came out, inventors and scientists have been trying to make the hoverboard a reality. Lexus, though, shows off just how close they’re getting.
Admittedly, the video is deceptive, a bit; the hoverboard does indeed hover, and it does carry the weight of the rider, but it only levitates on a metal track under the ground. Still, the technology is undeniably cool; Lexus had to figure out how to cram superconductors cooled with liquid nitrogen and permanent magnets into a very small space. That’s not an easy engineering challenge.
That said, Lexus is behind in the hoverboard arms race. Hendo, a company that used Tony Hawk to dramatic effect last year, has “hover engine” technology that is a little more free in its motion and uses some rather advanced physics to get around technical issues the Lexus board seems to solve with brute force. But it’s still a hoverboard, and we’ll still happily ride it.