Drive, park, fold: Korea’s Armadillo car

Drive, park, fold: Korea’s Armadillo car

Researchers at South Korea’s leading technology institute have a suggestion for your next car: fold it up when you’re not using it.

The prototype micro electric car “Armadillo-T” was unveiled by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology on Tuesday, and much like its namesake leathery South American placental mammal, it can roll up into a ball.

To be exact, the car shrinks from its original length of 2.8 meters (110 inches)–about the same size as Daimler AG’s Smart Car–down to almost half, or 1.65 meters (65 inches), when the driver folds the rear of the car up and over the front. The folding function is initiated via smartphone (what else?) once the driver has stepped out.

Doing so means the 450-kilogram electric vehicle takes up only one-third of a 5-meter parking space, allowing three of its kind to be parked in one standard-sized Korean parking spot. Slotting the car into a space once folded up is also done by smartphone remote control. Motors on each wheel mean the car can turn a full circle for ease of parking.

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