Just like smart devices, smart cars are being developed which can make the lives of the drivers really easy. With increased congestion on the roads and lack of parking space, it becomes difficult for commuters to reach their destination without any hassle. To cope with such a situation, a team of engineers from the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center, which is based in Germany, have developed a solution in the form of a smart car. The EO Smart Connecting Car 2 is a flexible electric car which can shrink in size, drive sideways and turn on easily.
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EO Smart Connecting Car 2
The smart car was first announced in 2012 and now the team has moved to the second iteration. The car can be driven just like a traditional car. However, each wheel runs on its own motor which allows the car to move sideways. This helps in parking in limited spaces as the car easily slides in there, as was explained by the project manager of the vehicle, Timo Birnschein.
[Tweet “A truly smart car might be able to drive sideways, like the equally tiny, shape shifting EO Smart Connecting Car 2.”]
He said “The whole process — the transition between normal driving and driving sideways — takes about four seconds.”
— L.J.Blanchard (@LJ_Blanchard) May 11, 2015
How will it work?
The car which features butterfly doors and large windows has wheels which can rotate 90 degrees and are perpendicular to the car’s body. This allows the car to spin in a perfect circle as well as drive sideways, when the wheels are turned fully.
[Tweet “Incredible shrinking car’ drives sideways to park in tiny spaces”]
The EO 2 car weighs around 1,653 lb and can compress its body. This is possible as the panels slide up and over each other just like crabs move.
The body size then shrinks down to 4.9 ft from its original size of 8.2 ft. The four wheels however, remain on the ground.
“It is able to reduce it’s own size by about 80cm, which makes it almost as small as a bike in length. And with this kind of feature you can go into very tiny parking spaces,” Birnschein says. “You are still able to turn on the spot, you are still able to drive sideways and you are still able to connect to charging stations, for example.”
Birnschein says “[It] is very comparable feature-wise to the first prototype.” The second version is much more reliable and almost road-legal. It’s not really, but it’s almost there and we are trying to bring this car to the road — but it’s a big hassle to be honest because we have so many new technologies in the car that the technical advisory guys are skeptical.”
The EO 2 car is being touted as the “micro car for a megacity.” Plans are also going on to develop the ability to connect each EO 2 car with another, with a concept called the “Platoon.”
It is not yet known when these cars will eventually come to the consumers.
"EO Smart Connecting Car 2." Big name, small car. From DFKI Robotics in Germany, it can drive sideways! pic.twitter.com/buM03HvZ5p
— Transpontification (@EricPaulDennis) May 11, 2015
Are you going to buy such a car if it is available? Do you think more self-driving cars should be developed? We would like to hear your thoughts.