I bet you don’t know this, but you can easily sense how it could be true: in metropolitan areas about 30% of petrol (yes, almost 1/3!) is wasted during the hard-to-find search for a place to park. The ugly truth: we all have wandered round and round, like hamsters in a wheel, in the congested city center, activating our super powers for an empty space to suddenly materialize at our convenience…
When you consider this point, it’s easy to understand how having a small vehicle can facilitate things, thus reducing noxious emissions in the air we breathe. Which is why the Smart car was invented in the first place. Luckily for us, technology, in its unstoppable quest for more innovative solutions, has invented an even smarter car: Hiriko (which means Urban Car in Basque, as this project is supported by a Basque enterprise consortium based on a idea by MIT Media Lab).
If folding chairs have been around for exactly a century (invented in 1911) and folding strollers started being popular in the 80′s (the notorious buggy!) , a similar concept is now applied to the more complex structure of a car. But this new prototype of urban mobility does more than just shrinking on-demand.
It achieves parking excellence by means of a four-wheel traction and direction, that is, it can rotate around its axis completely (360 degrees, watch the video below). It also features a haptic steering wheel (hello gamers!), and both passengers can drive and park with the push of a button. A frontal retractable “gull wing” door is the only means of access, therefore generally, if there are other cars nearby, you park the vehicle perpendicular to the curb, not parallel to it. This applies even when the greatest space-saving is achieved: 3 Hirikos occupy the space of an average size car.
Did I forget the green icing on the cake? This little wonder is fully electric. And it’s conceived for urban sharing. Though it may easily reach 90 km/h (with an autonomy of 120km), notwithstanding your excitement, you may want to stay within the allowed city speed limits. Testing is under way in major cities around the world. Can’t wait to try one!