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

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 22

beachboys2

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Local Sports

Aldridge leads Blazers over Nuggets with 20 points

Fresh
Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) celebrates after scoring in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, in Dallas. The Mavericks won 105-99.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds in Portland's 93-75 win over Denver in an exhibition game Tuesday.

in Local Sports

Stars hold off Canucks to win 6-3

Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff looks on from the bench during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, in Dallas.

The Dallas Stars held off the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Tuesday night.

in Sports

World Series: Bumgarner, Pence lead Giants over Royals in Game 1

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner talks to the media before baseball practice Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. The Kansas City Royals will host the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series on Oct. 21.

The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 in Tuesday night's World Series opener.

in Local Sports

WWU Golf: Women 2nd at Sonoma St. Men 8th at CSUMB Invitational

golf ball

Viking women place second at Sonoma State Invitational. Vikings’ Jenn Paul ties for third in medalist play. WWU Men 8th at CSUMB Invitational. Western’s Hatch ties for 11th, Schrader ties for 13th in medalist play.