Sept. 2 - South Korean researchers have developed an electric car that folds in half for easy parking. Called the 'Armadillo-T', the prototype vehicle is designed for commuters in busy urban areas. Rob Muir has more.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~*NONE**~ STORY: The two-seater Armadillo-T has been designed for commuters in busy, bustling cities. Inspired by the armour-covered mammal of the same name, the Armadillo-T can fold itself in half, to fit into an area one third the size of a conventional parking space. It's the creation of a team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, led by Proferssor Suh In-soo. (SOUNDBITE) SOUTH KOREAN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR SUH IN-SOO FROM KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SAYING: "We developed a micro compact car inspired by an armadillo's movements where it reduces its size and expresses its toughness. This is the concept of the design." The car can travel at a top speed of 60 kilometres per hour and has a range of almost a hundred kilometres. It's powered by a lithium-ion battery mounted at the front, and motors housed inside each wheel, maximising the space for driver and passenger while providing an unimpeded path for the folding mechanism. Suh says it's ideal for urban commuting. (SOUNDBITE) SOUTH KOREAN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR SUH IN-SOO FROM KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SAYING: "It can be parked somewhere nearby. In other words, thinking about car-sharing systems, the vehicle can be part of our daily routine as it parks in every corner of parking lots at apartment buildings, shopping malls and supermarkets. I think this is a strong feature of the vehicle." For now the Armadillo-T is a concept vehicle, but Suh believes it has great potential. he says it represents the future of "convenient and eco-friendly transportation."