Science

‘Crab’ car drives sideways and parks in tiny spaces

‘Crab’ car drives sideways and parks in tiny spaces

(CNN)As cities continue to grow at a dizzying rate, commuters are constantly battling ever-increasing congestion on the roads and a lack of parking, just to get to work.

But now a team of German engineers have come up with an ingenious solution — a “flexible” electric vehicle capable of shrinking, driving sideways (think like a crab) and turning on a dime.

The EO Smart Connecting Car 2 is an innovative design from DFKI Robotics Innovation Center, based in Bremen, Germany, where a team of software developers and designers, as well as electronics and construction engineers, have been refining the smart micro car project for the last three years.

First announced in 2012, the team have moved onto their second iteration of the vehicle. It drives like a traditional car but because each wheel is powered by its own motor, it also has the capability of driving sideways, allowing it to slide into tight spaces in urban areas where parking is limited, explains Timo Birnschein, project manager for the vehicle.

The prototype has a top speed of 65 km/h (or 40mph) and can travel 50 to 70 kilometers (30 to 44 miles) on a single four-hour full charge of the battery. But it’s the two-seater’s ability to shrink to around 1.5 meters in length that has the team excited about its uses in future cities, says Birnschien.

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by Lara

 






Science