Korean engineers have introduced their experimental electric Armadillo-T car that can be controlled by a smartphone and folded to reduce parking space demands.
The unconventional two-seater that gained its name after a new-world mammal whose shell it resembles can be charged within 10 minutes for a 100km journey and can reach the maximum speed of 60km/h.
Though not compliant with design requirements for publicly used cars, the vehicle serves as a test bed for city-travel technologies of the future. Designed to address the lack of parking spaces - a typical problem in modern-day cities - the car can fold itself and basically halve its length to only 1.65m
"They can be parked in every corner of the street and buildings, be it apartments, shopping malls or supermarkets," said Suh In-soo, a professor at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology who led the development of the car.
Instead of conventional rear-view mirror, the car is equipped with tiny digital cameras capturing the space around the car and displaying the situation on a flat screen on the dashboard.
The car’s computer runs a Windows-based computer system that can communicate with the driver's smartphone and park automatically.
As the design doesn’t meet the safety requirements and crash-resilience demands, it is highly unlikely it will ever be seen in open traffic. However, the team hopes that, eventually, Korean authorities could change the rules applying to micro cars, opening the possibilities for Armadillo-T to enter commercial market.