With a click on a smartphone, the experimental Armadillo-T electric car will park itself and fold nearly in half, freeing up space in crowded cities.
The strange-looking two-seater, named after the animal whose shell it resembles, may never see production, but it is part of a trend of developing environmentally friendly vehicles for crowded cities.
The car, made in South Korea, can travel 62 miles on a 10-minute charge and has a maximum speed of 37 miles per hour.
When it comes time to park, the rear of the vehicle folds over the front, cutting its body length almost in half — to just 65 inches.
“They can be parked in every corner of the street and buildings, be it apartments, shopping malls or supermarkets,” said Suh In-soo, a professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology who led development of the car.
Suh did away with rearview mirrors by adding tiny digital cameras that show the back and sides of the car on a flat screen on the dashboard. A Windows-based computer system communicates with the driver’s smartphone to allow for self-parking.
The Armadillo-T cannot legally venture onto the road in South Korea because it does not meet certain safety standards, such as the ability to withstand crashes. Suh said South Korea should relax rules for micro cars because they travel at low speeds.