MIT’s Media Lab and a consortium of companies in Bilbao, Spain have built a micro-electric car called the Hiriko that looks to be the missing link between Daimler’s Smart car and the one you can drive up the side of a building in Minority Report.
The micro-electric car– a 6.5-ft, 1100-lb little thing that runs on two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and can travel 120 km at full charge– was developed to navigate the tiny roads and parking spaces in congested cities as part of a Zipcar-like sharing program. Its most fetching feature though, is that it can be folded up like a baby stroller; 3-4 Hiriko’s can fit in a standard parking space. Hopefully that will solve the biggest problem about car share programs: never being able to find a car nearby.
You can watch a video demonstration of the Hiriko here.
Cool but slightly less useful: all four wheels of the Hiriko can rotate 360 degrees, which means you’ll be able to move horizontally, like a crab, into pesky parallel parking spaces. That seems like a useful feature ALL cars could adopt.
Sadly, the Hiriko isn’t powered by renewable energy. And there also doesn’t seem to be any space in the car for an enormous load of groceries, or whatever other shopping that may have been done, which is one of the few reasons why I would choose to drive instead of walking or taking public transportation.
Source: Big Think