An electric car that folds in half!

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

armadilloT
The miniature Armadillo-T.

Have you ever been in the car with a driver who’s struggling to find a parking spot on the street? Before you know it, even you are on the hunt for a space, pointing and shouting excitedly from the passenger’s seat! The worst part is that you know the car would fit in tight areas if it weren’t so darn bulky. If that’s the case, may I interest you in the Armadillo-T? It’s an electric car that folds itself in half to park!

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) engineers got pretty creative with this car. It’s an electric vehicle, and it can drive around 62 miles on a single battery charge. Not that you’d have to wait long while you juice up the battery, since it only takes 10 minutes to charge completely! I wish my phone charged that fast. You think that’s quick? Well, you’ll be surprised to hear the Armadillo-T has a top speed of… brace yourself… 37 miles per hour! Okay, it’s not that fast, but it’s better than riding a bike everywhere. Enough about the features already, I want to know about how it folds in half.

Okay, when a driver pulls the car up to a parking spot, he whips out a smartphone and activates what some are calling “Transformer Mode.” This feature directs the car to go from 110 inches long to a mere 65 inches! That’s about one third the average length of a parking spot. The driver can then remote control the car with his phone into the parking space. Talk about half the car in half the space! In-Soo Suh, a professor at KAIST, said, “I expect that people living in cities will eventually shift their preferences from bulky, petro-engine cars to smaller and lighter electric cars. Armadillo-T can be one of the alternatives city drivers can opt for.”

The researchers also envision Armadillo-T being used as a mode of public transportation. Since the car only has two seats, it would certainly be an interesting mini ride!

Images courtesy of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.