An armadillo-inspired micro car from South Korea can shrink itself down to just 65 inches.
This absolutely awesome all-electric car, created by engineers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, can fold itself completely in half when parking. Inspired by a certain leprosy-carrying mammal, the Armadillo-T seats two adults and has a top speed of 37 miles per hour.
The video is probably all of the future you can handle in one day:
By folding up its rear half, the 992-pound prototype shrinks from its original length of 110 inches down to just 65 inches. Once a driver has gotten the car near the desired parking space, he or she can get out and use a smartphone to activate “Transformer Mode” (my coinage, someone should pay me for this stuff) and then remotely steer the folded car the rest of the way into the spot.
A 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers four in-wheel motors. By putting the motors inside the wheels, the designers freed up space in the car for people. It charges in 10 minutes and can drive about 62 miles on a full battery. Cameras in place of side mirrors reduce blind spots.
The Armadillo-T would be ideal for urban car-sharing and near-distance travel within tourist areas or large buildings, says lead researcher In-Soo Suh, associate professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST.