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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

Last updated on: August 11, 2014 12:39 IST

Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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Hyunjoo Jin in Daejeon, South Korea

With a click on a smartphone, the experimental "Armadillo-T" electric car made in South Korea will park itself and fold nearly in half, freeing up space in crowded cities.

The quirky two-seater, named after the animal whose shell it resembles, may never see production but it is part of a trend of developing environmentally friendly vehicles for urban spaces.

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Image: Armadillo-T, a foldable electric vehicle.
Photographs: Reuters

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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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The car can travel 100 km (62 miles) on a 10-minute charge and has a maximum speed of 60 km per hour (37 miles per hour).

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Image: A woman walks past the folded Armadillo-T, a foldable electric vehicle, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, south of Seoul.
Photographs: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters
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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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When it comes time to park, the rear of the vehicle folds over the front, almost halving its body length to just 1.65 metres (65 inches).

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Photographs: Courtesy, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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"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 development of the car.

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Image: A researcher looks at the interior of Armadillo-T, a foldable electric vehicle, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, south of Seoul.
Photographs: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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Suh did away with rear-view mirrors by adding tiny digital cameras that show the back and sides of the car on a flat screen on the dashboard.

A Windows-based computer system communicates with the driver's smartphone and enables self-parking.

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Image: A researcher gets out of Armadillo-T, a foldable electric vehicle, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, south of Seoul.
Photographs: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters
Tags: Suh

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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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The Armadillo-T cannot legally venture on to the road in South Korea because it does not meet certain mandatory criteria, such as withstanding crashes.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

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Armadillo-T: A car that folds in half for easy parking

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Suh said South Korea should relax rules for micro cars, exempting them from crash requirements because of their relatively low speeds.

A video demonstrating the prototype has been viewed more than 780,000 times on YouTube.


Photographs: Courtesy, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

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