If the people paid to analyze such things are to be believed, most humans will be living in mega-urban areas by the end of the 21st century. This means that every square inch of space is going to come at a pricey premium, and in places like New York City it isn’t uncommon for people to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a parking spot.
How are regular people supposed to survive? A team of German engineers thinks they have a solution with the EO Smart Connecting Car 2, a shrinking electric city car that can turn its wheels sideways to make parallel parking a breeze. A group of engineers, software developers, and designers from DFKI Robotics Innovation Center have worked on this tiny electric car since 2012, and they think it could be the future of urban commuting.
The EO Smart Connecting Car 2 uses four-wheel hub motors that can operate independently of each other, allowing it a zero-turn radius capability just like the commercial mowers I used to scoot around on in college. It’d be all but impossible to fail the parallel parking portion of the driving test with this kind of tech on your side, and it gets even easier thanks to the EO’s “shrinking” ability.
By basically sticking the ass end of the EV in the air, the designers were able to reduce it in size by 31.4 inches, to a total size of around 7.5 feet. That’s less than half the 19 feet the DOT recommends for your standard perpendicular parking lot. If you could fit twice as many vehicles into the existing parking infrastructure, that’d go a long way towards fitting more vehicles into a limited space, whether they be for carsharing or personal use. But could people get used to such a blocky, awkward design?
That, I don’t know.