Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology or KAIST have come up with their own solution to the growing concern of space and overcrowding in the urban environment–a car that can shrink its size.
In-Soo Suh, an associate professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation, and his team developed a compact and foldable electric vehicle called the Armadillo-T. The micro electric vehicle is designed to be used as a personal car or as part of the public transit system.
The vehicle prototype is based on the shape and behavior of its namesake, the armadillo, an armor-shelled animal that rolls up into a ball to protect itself from threats. In the same way, the Armadillo-T can fold its rear body into itself and shrink its original size to almost half. From its original size of 2.8 meters, it can condense its size to 1.65 meters and can occupy one-third of a five-meter parking space.
The car is a four-wheel drive two-seater with four in-wheel motors. It has a 13.6 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery pack housed up front. The wheels have a smartphone interface, which allows the car to turn at 360 degrees.
The car also has cameras installed inside, doing away with the need for side mirrors and allowing the driver to see both sides of the car.
The project is being supported by the Korean government, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement.
Watch the video demo of the Armadillo-T.