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What's better than an all-electric zero emission car that can travel 75 miles between charges? How about one that can do that and also, squeeze itself into a parking spot no matter how small - Introducing, Hiriko, a green vehicle built to ease some of the stress of urban living.
The futuristic looking two-seater which has been in the works since 2010, is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab Group and Spanish redevelopment agency DENOKINN. Conceived as an alternative to bicycles for people who live in urban areas, the car has a unique talent - It can fold to almost half its size (from 100 to 60 inches) with just a touch of a button, thanks to a clever mechanism that tucks the rear of the car under its chassis - all without harming the driver and passenger inside. What this means is that up to three and a half of these cute little cars can be parked rear to rear in a single parking bay!
if you think that is neat, how about this? The car has no doors. Instead Its windshield doubles up as the doors enabling both the driver and passenger to escape from the front without any danger of scraping the sidewalk or the other Hiriko's parked in close proximity.
That's not the only unconventional feature inside this cool car. In lieu of the normal steering wheel and brake, the inventors have installed a device that resembles an airplane yoke. To accelerate or decelerate, all the driver has to do is push the control stick back and forth. To turn, they simply turn the yoke control left or right. If that's not impressive enough, its zero turn 'robot' wheels can twist 60 degrees left or right enabling the car to travel sideways, making parallel parking a cinch!
The best part is that this is not a concept car, but one that is currently being tested in Europe. If all goes well, the Hiriko will soon be available in Barcelona, Berlin and San Francisco, where the manufacturers plan to sell it to the local municipalities for their car-sharing program.
The $17,000USD Hiriko will also be available to the general public. However, if for some reason its futuristic look does not quite catch your fancy, you can wait for the other two models that are already in pre-production stage - A convertible called Alai and a small truck called Laga!
Resources: inhabitat.com, gizmag.com,mototrend.com, digitaltrends.com