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PHOTO CAPTION: EO Smart Connecting Car 2

EO Smart Connecting Car 2 Debuts

It parks itself, pivots on its own axis, and shrinks by 40 percent. Oh yeah, and it's all electric.

Published: 13-May-2015

Sometime back an imaginative television commercial for the SciFi Channel showed a woman parking a full-sized car that folded up into a tiny cube that fit into purse, a trick, of course, of computer graphics. While such feats of reality bending aren't actually possible in the real world - yet, at least - the EO Smart Connecting Car 2, developed by DFKI Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, edges a bit closer.

In its fully extended length, two-passenger, all-electric car measure just over 8 feet or 2.5 meters. It can, however morph down to 4.9 ft (1.5 meters). On top of this, all four wheels can pivot 90°, enabling it to crab sideways into a tiny parallel parking spot, or pivot 360° on its own axis.

Now you won't be driving this shapeshifter on the Autobahn; not with a top speed of 40 mph (64.3 km/h). But that speed and a 44 mile (70 km) range per electric charge, as well as its ability to shrink and move laterally, make it the nearly ideal vehicle for the city. The developers are working on allowing strings of the EO2 to platoon, moving nose-to-tail electronically to reduce drag while improving energy efficiency. They also the time coming fast when their creation will also be autonomous.

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