The Robotics Innovation Centre (RIC), of the Artificial Intelligence Research giant DFKI (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence), has developed the EO smart connecting car 2 (EOscc2), a prototype electric car, which can drive sideways and alter its shape, to drive through a street gridlock smartly and fit itself in tiny parking spaces.
In today’s fast moving world, the boons of urban life come along with certain demands. Traffic congestion, gridlock on busy streets, vehicle parking problems, pollution, etc., are of some of them. Researchers are working to find solutions to these problems, which nowadays became almost universal.
Reduction in vehicle size, if it’s for a single passenger, (as big cars used by single individuals are not traffic friendly) or carpooling and using electric cars to reduce pollution are some of the solutions we can think of to solve the above problems. But a team of 9 engineers and a designer from DFKI’s Robotics Innovation Centre (RIC) envisioned better and realized a prototype, which can drive us towards a promising solution for all the above problems.
The EO smart connecting car underwent different stages of development for the last four years and EOscc1(EO smart connecting car) which was presented in 2012, was the first prototype in this series.
Specifications and Special Features
EOscc2 is a smart car which runs on 54 Volt LiFePo4 battery with a speed of 40mph with a range of up to 44 miles on a charge. Similar to NASA’s Modular Robotic vehicle, EOscc2 can drive sideways and diagonal and rotate on the spot.
Due to these abilities, it can turn within the parking space to drive out forwards, a feature which can save from parking lot accidents. Due to its foldable chassis, it can also contract and reshape itself to minimize its parking space. Even in the shrunken shape it is fully drivable, but with reduced speed. With Autonomous parking and Autopilot, the car can go driverless.
Though this prototype is only to prove that such traffic friendly car designs are possible, some car maker has to step in and adopt those unique features for us to experience this smart car. A car like EOscc2 would be perfect for safe, comfortable and smart transportation of an individual or couple.