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

27 mins ago in Local Sports

Hernandez ties Mariners win record with decision over KC

Fresh
felix from seattle mariners via twitter

Seth Smith provided the only run — and the only hit — for the Mariners, leading off the sixth inning with a home run to right off Royals starter Kris Medlen.

32 mins ago in Local Sports

Blazers advance 4-2 with victory over the Clippers

Fresh
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making a three point basket during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers Monday, April 25, 2016, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 98-84. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

Damian Lillard scored 28 points and the Portland Trail Blazers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by holding off the resilient Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

36 mins ago in Local Sports

Seahawks brass fill needs in 3rd round

Fresh
pete and john from seahawks headquarter at the vmac

General Manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll grabbed a running back, tight end and a guard with their 3 picks in the 3rd round.

3 hours ago in Local Sports

Seattle trades up to get Alabama DT Jarran Reed

Jarren Reed

Reed is a major fit after the Seahawks lost run-stopping defensive tackle Brandon Mebane in free agency.

7 hours ago in Local Sports

Bellevue native Myles Jack selected by Jaguars

jack505270873010

Jacksonville traded up two spots to get Jack, who had been widely projected to go early in the first round. The Jaguars traded the 38th and 146th (fifth round) overall picks to Baltimore to grab Jack.