MIT’s new fold up car design, called Hiriko, is a breakthrough in the world of technology. One no longer needs to learn the skill of parallel parking in order to drive this car. When parked, it then folds in on itself condensing the size, making it possible for three or four of these cars to take up one parking spot. With four electric engines instead of one individual engine, these cars have a sixty mile radius before needing to be charged.
For those who live in big cities with minimal parking this sounds like a great idea right? It could be extremely dangerous however when these cars first hit the roads. They are so tiny compared to the normal sized cars and trucks, what happens if you’re involved in a wreck? My guess is that this little car would crumple up like a can, severely injuring or even killing whoever happens to be inside. The two person design limits the storage space. What if you need to bring some things to work? The car folds in on itself, where are you supposed to put your things? A trip to the airport doesn’t seem possible in a Hiriko, where would the suitcases go? These are just a few of the concerns that come to mind when first approached with the idea.
The technique used in parking this car would be a hard one to master because people are used to the standard way of driving. The four engines all incorporate with each tire as well as steering allowing the car to spin on its axis as well as move sideways like a crab according to MIT. When the car folds up, instead of climbing out of a door, the front windshield lifts up providing an exit. One would have to completely learn how to drive a car all over again to ensure they could safely park the car.
It’s extremely hard for me to wrap my mind around this new idea of an electric fold up car. There just seem to be more cons than pros for me personally. For others however, this could be an amazing thing. Whatever your opinion, it could take years to finally see these little cars on the road.