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Parking problems? How about a folding car?

22 March 2013

Hiriko is a new concept in urban mobility - a compact electric car that gets even more compact when you need to park it! Watch the video.

Image courtesy of the Hiriko Project
Image courtesy of the Hiriko Project

The Hiriko project is an initiative promoted by Afypaida, which includes the strategic collaboration of Denokinn and MIT's Changing Places Group.

The project is based in the Basque region of Spain - Hiriko standing for Urban Car (Hiri = urban, Ko = coche or car in Basque).

The goal of the Hiriko project is to create a new, distributed manufacturing system for the CityCar which will enable automotive suppliers to provide 'core' components made of integrated modules such as in-wheel motor units, battery systems, interiors, vehicle control systems, vehicle chassis/exoskeleton, and glazing.

The two-passenger EV is capable of folding to minimise its parking footprint.

The design utilises a novel technology called Robot Wheels. The Robot Wheel modules are controlled electronically using 'by-wire' systems made popular by the aerospace industry, and is attached to the four corners of the foldable chassis designed by the MIT team.

Each Robot Wheel can be independently controlled allowing the CityCar to execute tight maneuvers that are helpful when driving in cities such as spinning on its own axis to achieve an 'O-turn'.

The removal of traditional drivetrain elements like internal combustion engine, transmissions, and gearboxes allows for an unencumbered chassis, thus freeing up space for folding linkages.

When folded, three CityCars can fit into one traditional parking space, therefore making parking more efficient in dense crowded cities. The CityCar has a range of over 100km on one charge and is capable of being rapidly charged.

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