Feeds

MIT plans to roll out 'folding' car

'We have reinvented urban mobility'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are planning to knock up a full-scale model of their "City Car" - an experimental vehicle which "folds" itself in half and snuggles up to other City Cars in the manner of supermarket trollies.

Artist's impression of MIT folding car in a supermarket trolley stack

The MIT team, led by architecture professor Bill Mitchell, reckons its revolutionary wheels would solve urban transportation problems at a stroke, with pollution-free electric drive and the ability to park in one-eighth of the space of a conventional car. Mitchell declared: "We have reinvented urban mobility."

The designer of the vehicle's foldable frame, Franco Vairani, explained to Reuters that hundreds of the City Cars could be parked around cities at charging points and available for hire with a quick swipe of the credit card. Team engineer Peter Schmitt added that the car would boast "independently powered robotic wheels and be controlled using a computerized drive-by-wire system with a button or joystick".

While MIT will soon unveil its full-scale City Car, and Mitchell says he'd like to see it in production within three or four years, a key project consultant has cautioned against overenthusiasm.

Christopher Borroni-Bird, director of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts at General Motors, said: "What we have is a very intriguing concept. It is certainly a very promising idea, 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." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.