Folding Car Can Be Stacked, Stored, and Recharged
Posted Mar 10th 2008 1:12PM by Thomas Houston
Filed under: Car Tech, Green Tech

MIT researchers have created a new stackable car with the aim of unclogging congested streets and drastically cutting emissions. The “City Car,” as the researchers have dubbed the new vehicle is more maneuverable and easier to park than traditional cars, because each wheel is packed with a robotic steering system, electric motor and braking controls.

The City Car, half the size of a normal compact car, is more than just a small, electric two-seater, though. Foldable to roughly half its size, the car is designed to be stacked, stored and recharged at central locations throughout a city. Franco Vairani, the car’s designer, says, “you would just go and swipe your card and take the first one available and drive away.” Researchers see the City Car as part of a shared transit system within urban areas — it isn’t a replacement for full-size cars or public transportation.

As reported by Engadget a couple months ago, MIT is working with GM to build a prototype, and researchers hope to begin manufacturing the City Car within three to four years. We’re all for cutting emissions and traffic, but we’re also anxious to see if the golf-cart sized City Car fares well in crash tests!

Source: Switch, Engadget and The Boston Globe

What do you think about this idea? Will it work, especially when gas prices are sky rocketing? Will you use it if it is available?

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