News

‘Armadillo’ car folds up for easy parking

‘Armadillo’ car folds up for easy parking

A visitor takes photographs of Armadillo-T, a foldable electric vehicle, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, south of Seoul September 2, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

By Hyunjoo Jin

DAEJEON, South Korea (Reuters) – With a click on a smartphone, the experimental “Armadillo-T” electric car made in South Korea will park itself and fold nearly in half, freeing up space in crowded cities.

The quirky two-seater, named after the animal whose shell it resembles, may never see production but it is part of a trend of developing environmentally friendly vehicles for urban spaces.

The car can travel 62 miles on a 10-minute charge and has a maximum speed of 37 miles per hour.

When it comes time to park, the rear of the vehicle folds over the front, almost halving its body length to just 65 inches.

“They can be parked in every corner of the street and buildings, be it apartments, shopping malls or supermarkets,” said Suh In-soo, a professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology who led development of the car.

Suh did away with rear-view mirrors by adding tiny digital cameras that show the back and sides of the car on a flat screen on the dashboard. A Windows-based computer system communicates with the driver’s smartphone and enables self-parking.

The Armadillo-T cannot legally venture on to the road in South Korea because it does not meet certain mandatory criteria, such as withstanding crashes. Suh said South Korea should relax rules for micro cars, exempting them from crash requirements because of their relatively low speeds.

A video demonstrating the prototype has been viewed more than 780,000 times on YouTube.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

michael-jackson

A look at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Local

Measles sickens Whatcom County man

doctors

A Whatcom County man is the 7th person in Washington to get the measles this year.

in Local

Whatcom County heroin ring broken up

sheriff car copy

KGMI News Reporting By Tracy Ellis & Karen Taylor WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. – A Whatcom County heroin ring is broken…

in Local

Police bust seller of illegal drug ‘spice’

police lights

Ferndale Police bust a gas station convenience store, which detectives say was selling the illegal drug 'spice'

in Local Sports

Blazers come from behind for 115-112 win over Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts

LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 16 rebounds