Date
25 March 2017
This German concept car can turn on a dime, shrink, move sideways like a crab and park itself. Photo: Colorado Newsday
This German concept car can turn on a dime, shrink, move sideways like a crab and park itself. Photo: Colorado Newsday

If it moves like a crab, it must be a German e-car

German engineers have come up with an innovative solution for one of the biggest headaches for urban motorists during rush hour.

It’s a small electric car that can turn on a dime, shrink, move sideways like a crab and park itself.

The vehicle is described as an “ultra flexible micro car for mega cities” and is designed to connect to others to form a train, according to Mail Online.

Crabs have a wide flat body that makes it easier to squeeze into narrow spaces. The EOssc2 works in a similar way.

The arthropods flex the second joint of each leg to move sideways, although some crabs can walk forward as well.

In the case of the EOssc2, the car turns its wheels to manuever and mimic this movement.

Its unusual design also features a forward tilt and doors that open like the DeLorean in the Back To The Future movie.

Created at the DFKI Robotics Center in Bremen, Germany, the concept car is intended to be semi-autonomous.

Eventually, an autopilot will be able to drive the car.

At present, the two-seater can be driven in the traditional way, diagonally and sideways.

It can also pivot on the spot and shrink from eight feet to five feet while maintaining a comfortable seating position, according to the firm.

It does this because its wheels are individually powered by separate motors so they can turn in different directions.

The car has a top speed of 65 kilometers per hour and its semi-autonomous features are possible because of built-in cameras and a sensor on its roof, which lets the vehicle scan its environment and locate itself in it, 10 times a second.

It is designed to link with others to from a kind a connected convoy that can save energy over long distances.

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