Ever struggled to parallel park your car? Or maybe run out of room in your garage because of your massive SUV? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just maybe fold your car in half so it’d take up less space? In an effort to make the world a greener and more efficient place, researchers from MIT have developed an electric car that can actually fold in on itself once parked to take up less space.
This pocket-sized vehicle has been named the Hiriko and is powered by a single electric engine. It even has wheels that can rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to steer sideways into a parking spot along the street rather than do the parallel parking dance that some (me) struggle with. Not only are the cars efficient, green and easy to use, they’ve got a totally futuristic appearance as well.
The Hiriko car is expected to retail for about $16,000 US dollars, but won’t be appearing on US streets any time soon (not surprising, considering how much Americans still love their giant gas-hogs). The vehicle is expected to debut in European cities in 2013. Currently, the cars aren’t designed for individual ownership. Rather, MIT’s Smart Cities program designed it as a car-sharing program to bring clean and innovative transportation to metro areas. No word yet on which cities will see these cars first, but it is rumored the Berlin and Barcelona are on the list. It will be interesting to see how these cars do and whether it will spread to other locations around the world.