backtop


Print 67 comment(s) - last by Polynikes.. on Nov 16 at 12:06 AM


MIT City Car conceptual drawing  (Source: SciFi.com)
MIT dreams up a rentable, stackable, all-electric car for cities

America just seems to be obsessed with large vehicles. Maybe it’s our expanding waistlines, image consciousness or our "You can't tell me what to do, so I'm gonna buy whatever I want" mentality that persuades people to transport junior in a Suburban, go grocery shopping with a Tundra CrewMax or take Fido to the get his yearly shot in an Escalade EXT.

With rising gas prices, an increasing attention to our consumption of fossil fuels, an increasing awareness of vehicle emissions and expanding city centers, many are looking for more cost effective and efficient ways of transporting people in metropolitan areas. MIT Media Lab's Smart Cities group is thinking small with a new stackable car to reduce emissions and congestion in and around city centers.

The MIT "City Car" would be an all-electric vehicle capable of carrying two passengers and their cargo. The vehicles would be located near train stations, bus terminals and airports to ferry travelers to their final destination.

"The problem with mass transit is it kind of takes you to where you want to go and at the approximate time you want to get there, but not exactly," said Ph.D. candidate Franco Vairani of MIT's school of architecture. "Sometimes you have to walk up to a mile from the last train or subway stop."

The City Car will be stackable -- the entire back end of the vehicle would rise up allowing as many as eight of the vehicles to fit into a conventional parking space. The vehicle itself would also be mechanically simple with the electric motor, steering system and suspension enclosed within the wheel hubs.

The vehicle is said to weigh between 1,000 to 1,200 pounds and will be powered by lithium-ion batteries. According to Vairani, there could also be multiple versions of the City Car to accommodate a certain city's needs. A City Car destined for use in New York City might have a less powerful battery and a lower top speed due to traffic congestion. In other cities where interstate travel is more frequent, more powerful batteries capable of propelling the City Car faster and farther could be used.

If all goes well, MIT will show a prototype of the City Car sometime next year.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: so much for unbiased opinions
By sliderule on 11/8/2007 6:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah... I'd like to see me and my 6'5" 215lb body fitting into one of those with my bad back...


Same here, I'm also 6'5''. My brother bought a new Honda s2000(wicked little car), and brought it over to show me.

First I shoe horned myself into the passenger seat and we went for a ride. I just barely fit, then he ask if I want to drive. I literally couldn't get my feet on the pedals because I couldn't get my knees under the dash on the driver side!

If my life depended on it I don't think I could have contorted my body to fit that damn thing. On the bright side, my 41 year old Mustang fits me like a glove, plus it's paid for lol.


RE: so much for unbiased opinions
By Polynikes on 11/16/2007 12:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
I'm 6'2", a mere 3 inches shorter than you, and I can comfortably fit in even the smallest of cars.

God forbid you have to bed your legs a little.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

















botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki