Have you ever come across the sole remaining parking spot on a busy street, only to discover that your car won't quite fit? Wouldn't it be great if, in that moment, you could shrink your ride by a few feet?
A group of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a concept that can do just that. Aptly named the Armadillo-T--after the armored curling creature--the small electric car can shrink from 110 inches in length to 65 inches, according to KAIST's website.
The Armadillo-T can be controlled by a smartphone, allowing the user to fold and rotate the car remotely. That said, it is unclear if the two-seater can be driven forward or backward once folded, so parking in an exceptionally small space may still require some creativity.
In addition to its unique folding feature, the Armadillo-T boasts four-wheel-drive and cameras that replace traditional side mirrors. The KAIST team claims a ten minute "fast charge" and a driving range of roughly 62 miles. While the Armadillo-T sounds perfect for cramped city environments, an approximate top speed of 37 miles per hour could be limiting.
"Particularly, this car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer, to offer major transportation links in a city," said KAIST Professor In-Soo Suh. "In addition to the urban application, local near-distance travels such as tourist zones or large buildings can be another example of application."
[Source: KAIST.edu via Autoblog Green and Phys.org]