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City Car: MIT’s folding car concept

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The geeks at MIT hopes to solve the parking problem in congested cities with their City Car concept. The City Car is an emissions-free electric car that is “stackable”, similar to the way grocery and shopping carts stack. While stacked, the cars are automatically recharged. The plan is to deploy a stack of City Cars in city centers to create a network of “urban transportation that takes advantage of existing infrastructure such as subway and bus lines.” The idea is this: once someone gets off the subway or bus, the user simply walks up to a stack of City Cars, scans their credit/debit card, and drives off in a City Car. Upon reaching their destination, the user simply drives up the stack of City Cars and parks. Ideally, the city would be littered with piles of these high-tech cars.

The cars themselves feature fully integrated in-wheel electric motors with a suspension system called, “Wheel Robots.” The Wheel Robots provide 360 degree of movement. When “stacked”, each car shrinks 50% of its full size, taking up only 1/8 the parking space of a conventional vehicle. The cars would be cheap to mass produce and would follow some sort of rental business model.


Via: MIT and iTWire