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MITs CityCar Going Into Production

Designed and Developed By The MIT Media Lab’s Smart Cities Group

what a folding car looks likeThese guys are at it again. This innovative design goes one step further than the other cars that are being shown around the net. The CityCar folds up like a baby’ carriage that only takes up one-third of a parking space.

It weighs less than 1,000 lbs. Then add to this, an electric motor located on each wheel which will handle 60 degree of turn radius. Pretty cool. It also utilizes the equivalent energy to 150 to 200 miles per gallon of gasoline. Its range is at 75 miles before a charge is needed.

Now for the good news. This two-seat car has been renamed to Hiriko.

Taking the original design, the Hiriko Driving Mobility consortium in the Basque Country is developing 3 versions. The Fold microcar, the Alai, a convertible and the Laga, a small truck.

A pilot program is planned to take place in Germany into Deutsche Bahn’s railway service to allow their customers the possibility of using a vehicle parked at the station with which to complete the last mile of the journey to their final destinations.

Even though the Hiriko only top speed is 31 mph, going through a city such as Barcelona, London or Berlin, makes this a viable alternative to a taxi. The charge for the battery is only 15 minutes.

The driver and the passenger enter and exit the car through the front hatch that houses the windshield. The conventional steering wheel and the brake and throttle controls were replaced with a device similar to an airplane’s yoke. When the driver pushes the control stick forward the car speeds up, while when pulled back the car slows down. Turns are made by moving the yoke control left or right

The car is expected to be used in car-sharing schemes, and it may even come to some U.S. cities–San Francisco and Boston have both expressed an interest.

Take a look at how the Hiriko will work:

The production version is expected to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and production is planned for the second quarter of 2013. Retail deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2014, and pricing starts at €12,500 (US$16,400) plus battery leasing fees.

Here it is in action:

So would you like to have one?

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2 Responses to “MITs CityCar Going Into Production”

  1. lissof_Leuf Says:

    Great Idea, I would really like to see projects like this take off. I like the bicycle wheel also.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof …. They are both pretty cool eh? The car is going into production this month. 😀

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