Hiriko is a fold-up eco vehicle with four independent electric engines and a rotation system for parallel parking. Overpopulation is soon to become a myth by the wheel of MIT’s future urban car.
Hiriko is developed by the MIT Media Lab in partnership with a group of specialists from Spain. No wonder the concept is named “Hiriko”, which is the basque term for “urban”. It’s practical, emission-free and perfect for overpopulated areas, where the traffic is simply killing every driver’s mood of driving. What couldn’t be better than a car capable to fold itself to almost half of its original size? It’s equipped with an electric independent engine in each wheel and a rotation system which allows the vehicle to spin on its axis, or as MIT authors name it, the “O-Turn”.
Sadly, the vehicle has only two seats, so it might not have the success the MIT Media Lab was hopping for. It does, however, put three major elements together of the future dream car: maneuverability, practicability and environmental preservation. We’ve learned about vehicles capable to fold in urban districts and other designs which rotate 360 degrees in a single maneuver, but having two concepts all in one is something we’re looking up to. Not to mention its ecological perspective and, of course, its size. Some people find the Hiriko ridiculously small, but that’s what you get when humanity is using more and more space.
Designed and built since 2003, Hiriko appeared last year in Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain. There, approximately twenty Hiriko vehicles were presented. MIT representatives have estimated the Hiriko to cost to $16,000, more than a half cheaper than the BMW i3 Electric car. There is a question of safety, such as the material the Hiriko is built from and what safety measures it uses. But, as the prototype was presented in front of the Comission of The European Union in 2012, it’s obvious it will try to keep a high standard in safety. Let’s just hope we get to hear more about the Hiriko. What do you think?
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