We've seen folding cars before, but a group of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have designed an electric vehicle that curls up like an armadillo. The folding process of the Armadillo-T prototype is particularly clever due to its four in-wheel electric motors and 13.6-kWh battery tucked into the front half of the car, which allow it to pull the rear shell with the rear wheels over the passenger compartment at the press of a button. Casters drop down from the center of the vehicle to facilitate the folding action, which shrinks its 110-inch length down to 65 inches. There's almost no parking space in which this car can't fit.

According to Phys.org, the Armadillo-T is very lightweight at 990 pounds, but it also packs in some important features. The driver can activate the folding action with a smartphone, which also can be used to move and rotate the folded car into a parking spot. A ten-minute quick charge gives the EV 62 miles of range, and it has a top speed of 37 miles per hour – not enough for freeway driving, but adequate for urban settings. It also has side-view cameras instead of mirrors to help the driver see around the car.

Check out the Armadillo-T folding itself in the video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      SublimeKnight
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a much needed feature, because my first thought when I saw that car was that it was WAY too big.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is like trash dumpster swallowing an NEV.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        LOL These guys are really focused on filling a huge demand. Most people I know wish that their golf cart was smaller for storage.
      lyphesaparty
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tipping cars is going to become popular if that thing makes it....
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd like it fold up into a briefcase like they did on the Jetsons. Then I'd consider it.
        telm12345
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Grendal
        There was one in Japan I recall that did that. Didn't look too sturdy... and couldn't fit non-small people in it.
      g
      • 1 Year Ago
      "crap! i forgot to take my stuff out of the trunk and now it's ruined...."
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @g
        That was intentional. It's a combination golf cart and trash compactor.
      telm12345
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting concept, but if it doesn't cut the size of the car in half, it seems kind of useless and maybe even unsafe.
      JRS_4500
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fun to watch, but this heap will never pass crash tests. Of course, with a top speed of 37 it may not need to...
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Makes a nice privacy cocoon.
      whatamooseiam
      • 1 Year Ago
      They must have had upright vacuums in mind when they thought of this concept.
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      I heard they're currently working on a top secret project called "TF-1 Bumblebee".
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is for when a driver gets scared when a Muscle Car pulls up next to it at a stop light.
      Erik Goossens
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's cool and all... except it doesn't actually save that much space (unless you have a fleet of identical vehicles parked bumper-to-underbody). The thing got 2, maybe 3 feet shorter? If it could tuck in more, so that the underbody of the cargo area could be vertical, then the car is half it's extended length, and THAT would be awesome :-)
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