Foldable cars!!!!

March 10, 2008 7:37am CST
At Massachusetts, USA, scientist have designed a fold able car. They say the cars can be folded up to half its original size. The car hasn’t been built yet. But the researchers have already created a mock-up version, and there are plans to build a full-scale model this year. The dozen or so engineers and architects on Mitchell’s team are confident their computer-generated work is on target. They feel their golf cart-sized vehicle could provide a novel solution to the chronic traffic congestion afflicting cities around the world – not to mention pollution and energy use, since it would run on a rechargeable battery. On the drawing board, their two-seater is roughly half the size of a typical compact car. “It’s a virtual computer on wheels,” said Franco Vairani, designer of the vehicle’s foldable frame, which he predicts will shrink the car to as little as an eighth the space needed to park the average car. While parked, it would hook up to an electricity grid for recharging, he added. Hundreds could be stacked around a city and “you would just go and swipe your (credit) card and take the first one available and drive away,” Vairani said. “People wouldn’t have to worry about where to park their cars in town and automobiles would take up less urban space.” Peter Schmitt, a team engineer, says the car would have independently powered robotic wheels and be controlled using a computerised drive-by-wire system with a button or joystick. Mitchell said he would like to bring the car to the manufacturing stage within the next three to four years. But a key consultant for the project, Christopher Borroni-Bird, director of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts at US automaker General Motors Corp, said he doesn’t think City Car is quite ready yet for the road. “It is certainly a very promising idea,” Borroni-Bird said. “But I don’t want to say it is ready for production... there’s still a lot of work yet to take it from concept to production.” mumbai news
No responses