Some cars are designed specially for dense, urban living. But a new car introduced by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) takes it to the next level with the capability to fold in upon itself, making fitting more cars into small spaces that much easier.
The electric vehicle is a prototype micro car called “Armadillo-T,” named after the leathery mammal that can curl itself into a ball.
“Just as armadillos hide themselves inside the shell, Armadillo-T tucks its rear body away, shrinking its original size of 2.8 meters (110 inches) down to almost half, 1.65 meters (65 inches), when folding,” KAIST’s press release about the prototype states.
When folded, three Armadillo-Ts could fit into one standard Korean parking space, which is about 5 meters (16 feet) in length.
“Particularly, this car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer, to offer major transportation links in a city. In addition to the urban application, local near-distance travels such as tourist zones or large buildings can be another example of application,” associate professor In-Soo Suh, who lead the KAIST development team, said in a statement, noting how he thinks city dwellers will opt for lighter, electric cars in the future.
The driver and passengers must exit the car before using a remote to fold it. The car weighs 450 kg (about 992 pounds) and has a tight turning radius for ease of parking.
As for the electric features, the car can charge in 10 minutes for 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of driving.
Watch the Armadillo-T show off its skills in this video:
(H/T: Popular Science)