Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) unveiled a prototype car that can fold itself almost in half with just the press of a button on the driver's smartphone.
In-Soo Suh, an associate professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST, named the car the Armadillo-T. After the car is parked, a stabilizing wheel pops out from underneath, followed by the back of the car curling forwards and upwards, much like its namesake roly-poly desert mammal. The Armadillo-T shrinks down to a little under five-and-a-half feet.
Suh and his colleagues have found additional ways to bring cutting edge technology to the Armadillo-T. In place of side view mirrors are cameras that both take up less space and reduce blind spots by providing a more comprehensive side view. The car can also be partly controlled from the smartphone, allowing drivers to step out and better see how they're navigating tricky parking spaces.
"This car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer," said Suh in a statement. "I expect that people living in cities will eventually shift their preferences from bulky, petro-engine cars to smaller and lighter electric cars."