News

‘Armadillo’ car folds up for easy parking

‘Armadillo’ car folds up for easy parking

A visitor takes photographs of Armadillo-T, a foldable electric vehicle, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, south of Seoul September 2, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

By Hyunjoo Jin

DAEJEON, South Korea (Reuters) – With a click on a smartphone, the experimental “Armadillo-T” electric car made in South Korea will park itself and fold nearly in half, freeing up space in crowded cities.

The quirky 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 urban spaces.

The car 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, almost halving its body length 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 rear-view 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 and enables self-parking.

The Armadillo-T cannot legally venture on to the road in South Korea because it does not meet certain mandatory criteria, such as withstanding crashes. Suh said South Korea should relax rules for micro cars, exempting them from crash requirements because of their relatively low speeds.

A video demonstrating the prototype has been viewed more than 780,000 times on YouTube.

Recent Headlines

yesterday in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: April 17

nirvana

A look back at Hollywood's biggest headlines.

yesterday in Sports

Jets sign former Titans RB Chris Johnson 

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) walks off the field before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn.

In a text message to The Associated Press, Johnson confirmed it was a two-year deal.

yesterday in Sports

Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl, center, shakes hands with investment firm executives Wesley Edens, right, and Marc Lasry, at a news conference after reaching a deal to sell the franchise Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Milwaukee. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its Board of Governors.

Bucks owner Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the franchise to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens.

yesterday in Sports

Patrols increase near Marathon finish line

With his attorney, Shannon Lopez, left, beside him Kevin Edson is arraigned in Boston Municipal Court, Wednesday, April 16 2014, in Boston. Edson was arrested Tuesday near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker on the anniversary of the bombings. Edson was sent to a state psychiatric facility for an evaluation Wednesday following his initial court appearance and ordered held on $100,000 bail. He is due back in court on May 7.

Police have stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line, a day after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack.

yesterday in Music, Sports

Lorde meets Hall of Famer who inspired ‘Royals’

lorde

The singer behind the hit meets the real-life Royal that inspired her song.

Bellingham Traffic