The project, which has been in progress since 2003, is sponsored by General Motors, which is planning build a concept car using the MIT design in 2006. An article in Thursday's edition of The Guardian, describes the shared-car concept (think future ZipCar or FlexCar) as "a stackable, shareable, electric, two-passenger car." While our colleagues at Engadget think the car's a big improvement on the last urban transportation revolution, the Segway, they wonder if some of the concepts might be too far out there to implement - even in a concept car.
Among other innovative concepts, the Smart Cities cars include "motor-wheels": a wheel unit that includes an embedded electric motor and suspension, doing away with a conventional drivetrain, and allowing dramatic design flexibility. Much more information here and here.
[Via ZDNet Emerging Technology Trends]