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End your parking woes with this foldable car

Wed, 09/05/2012 - 3:12pm
Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor

 Anyone who has ever lived in a city knows what it feels like to drive around attempting to find street parking before giving up and dumping the car in an expensive garage. If you frequently suffer from No Parking Spaces Syndrome (or NPSS), a group of researchers from MIT’s Changing Places group and DENOKINN has a solution for you: a car that shrinks for parking.

The Hiriko Fold is a foldable car that can be stored upright to fit into tight spaces. Plus, if you can’t find parking because you can’t parallel park—you’re not alone—the two-person car comes with zero-turn radius wheels that mean you can turn the wheels 360 degrees to move the car sideways into a spot.

Obviously, it’s designed for city driving, so the eco-friendly electric compact can only go 75 miles without a charge, which should be enough for tooling around your respective city, but not enough for a road trip.

The car weighs in at about 1,100 pounds, with a max speed of around 31 mph. When it’s in use, the car measures 3.5 meters long, but after being folded it becomes a compact 1.5 meters, so you can fit three in the average parking spot. Oh, and don’t expect anything fancy, like doors, in this unit. Riders clamber in through the windshield, which serves as a front hatch. 

It’s expected to go on sale in 2013 for around $16,000.

 

 

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