The Aramdillo-T is an electric car that can fold to save space.
By Isaac Kim
A small foldable electric car has been introduced in Korea for the first time. The length measures 1.65 meters when folded, allowing three of these cars to be parked in an average parking space.
Prof. Seo In-soo and his research team from the Cho Chun Shik Graduate School for Green Transportation of KAIST presented Armadillo-T on Aug. 13. "This car will alleviate the frustration of parking and traffic in cities," he said.
Unfolded, the car measures 2.8 meters in length, which is smaller than regular compact cars. The car folds at the center and the length shrinks down from 2.8 meters to 1.65 meters. The car can be folded through a smartphone application once it is parked.
Prof. Seo and his team derived the car design from the armadillo. The armadillo retracts into its shell when faced by predators.
The car has been praised throughout the international academic community. The Armadillo-T took second place in May's Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) design competition.
The Armadillo-T weighs 500 kilograms and its top speed is 60 kilometers per hour. It seats two persons, has a 13.6 kWh battery, and can travel 100 kilometers after ten minutes of battery charging.
To ensure safety as well as a comfortable amount of space, other ideas have been incorporated into the car. The car engine is installed not in the front or back, but inside the wheels.
The side and rear view mirrors have been replaced with a camera. There is also a monitor in the front to provide the driver with lots of information.
"The Armadillo-T utilizes cutting edge technology and can easily be operated by senior citizens or the disabled," said Prof. Seo. "I believe it will be in high demand in our future society."