MIT’s Folding City Car

MIT Media Labs is working on a new concept called “Hiriko” which means urban mobility. The new electronic “folding car” has been designed for shared ownership so users can drop it off in different locations. Think of it as one-way driving. MIT claims that most people who live in urban areas only use their cars a small percentage of the day. It makes sense to have smaller, shared cars to help protect the environment and be as economical as possible.

For parking purposes, the bubble-shaped car allows the back section to slide forward, “folding” the cabin up vertically . That means that it will only occupy two thirds of a parking space taken by a Smart Car. Other features include a single front-opening door and joystick controls rather than a steering wheel. Four independent in-wheel motors allow for separate steering. The vehicle will sell for $16,500 each.

You will see these cars on the road sometime next year. Read more about it in Engadget.

Watch the video below.

3 thoughts on “MIT’s Folding City Car

  1. Katelyn:

    I love this concept! the design is quite ingenious as well as aesthetically pleasing. This would be fun to post in the green design section. Please be sure to “tip my hat” to Lois Whitman of DigiDame when/if you do a post.



  2. Absolutely brilliant! I’d want to know what kind of safety features were built into it before going very far, but I guess since I’ve ridden in one of those bicycle cabs before in NY, this should be much safe by comparison!

  3. I like the sharing aspect, but wonder how it would be accomplished. My husband & I have two cars, both of which, for the greater part of any day, are right there in the garage, since we both work at home. However, the few times one or the other of the cars has been in the shop or otherwise inaccessible, we’ve proven that just having one car is a huge inconvenience. It seems when we do go anywhere, it’s at just about the same time and in opposite directions. Of course, we’re in suburban Dallas, not a true urban setting, so I guess we’re not the target audience anyway.

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