The car of the future can turn on a dime, change its shape, or attach to its brethren to form a convoy. At least, this is the assumption of scientists at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Bremen, who have built just such a little car.
The concept is called the EO Smart Connecting Car, which the group at DFKI has dubbed an “intelligent electric car.” A number of modules let it adapt to the traffic situation or the desires of the drivers as appropriate – it can go from a two-seater to a family sedan or even a cargo vehicle. When the prototype was first announced, Director Frank Kirchner proudly proclaimed the prototype to have revolutionized the concept of the car by splitting it apart.
Versatility is the Key
Under normal circumstances, the EO SCC is about 98″ long. It can, however, shorten itself by 18” and turn all four wheels by 90 degrees to slide sideways into narrow parking spaces. There is nearly no end to how useful this particular feature would be in nearly every place I have ever lived.
The next step is further autonomy for the tiny little car; the researchers hope that eventually it will be able to connect itself to a charging station, drive itself, and park itself (much like the Prius does, once you go past a parking space – does this mean that parallel parking will no longer be part of the driving test?).
The prototype will be presented at CeBIT (the Center for Office Automation, Information Technology, and Telecommunication) international computer expo, which starts on March 6th in Hannover.
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Source | Image: Autobild.