The vehicle of the future, the shrinking car that can be adjusted to fit into a small parking space, was shown at the world’s biggest IT fair on Tuesday, March 6, 2012.
About 4,200 exhibitors from 70 countries display the latest technology at the CeBIT, which runs until March 10 in Hanover, Germany.
The shrinking car is a two-seater “pod“, it has only 2.10 meters (seven feet) length and a cobalt-blue color.
Its top speed is 55 kilometers (35 miles) per hour and it has a range of 100 kilometers when its two batteries are fully charged. It creates additional energy from the turning of its wheels.
The vehicle can “dock” with other similar cars to create “road trains” of up to 20 cars, driven by just the person at the front. In that configuration, automatically all the cars share the energy available.
The car’s length can be reduced by 50 centimeters with a push of a button whenever is necessary. Its wheels can turn in a full circle, in this way the driver can pull up to a space and then move sideways into it.
The futuristic automobile also has built-in sensors to avoid collisions, can drive itself and can be summoned by smartphone.
“If you are in the office, you can press a button on your smartphone and it will come and pick you up. We already have the technology to do this. It will be happening in five to six years,” said Timo Birnschein, the project leader, from the German Centre for Artificial Intelligence.
The team led by Timo Birnschein has been working on the shrinking car for fifteen months. They hope to make it roadworthy soon.
Shrinking car concept and prototype, Rinspeed Presto convertible, powered by 1.7-liter 120-horsepower Mercedes turbodiesel, has appeared almost a decade ago, but there were no plans for production.