So, you may have seen the cover of our book: The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport (kindle, iBooks). It’s from a photo I took wandering the streets of Amsterdam. I didnt really know what it was. It turns out this crazy contraption is a “conference bike” or CoBi. Similar in functionality to a pedal pub, all of the conferees can face themselves around a table while pedaling. One conferee is steering, the others are simply adding power through pedaling and a weird gear system.
Tanya Muzumdar writes:
The CoBi was invented by internationally-known artist Eric Staller, whose curious large-scale works include the Magic Garden – a series of domes in a plaza in Osaka, Japan – and copper windmills with eyeball centers hanging from the ceiling of Media Plaza, in Utrecht, Netherlands. Stateside, his “Angelville” sculpture and man-shaped cabinets are housed at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.
The bike is six feet wide and eight feet long. Manufactured in Germany, only 300 have been produced; indeed, in the U.S., a CoBi is a rare bird. Most reside in Europe, although Google has two at corporate headquarters. … [I]ts cost approaches that of a new economy-sized car.
So there you have it, the future of transportation might about meeting in motion, while using your own power to actively transport yourself on a conference bike. Wikipedia even has an article.