Could the future of urban transportation look like this? Stackable Cars? The movement toward chopping down the clumbsy infrastructure of the automobile dominance has taken another step forward. According to the article, "a new MIT car is borne of a complete rethink of people's relationship with their cars in the ever-expanding cities of the future."
Sure, it's just a concept now. Just like so many programs and comanies that are actively reducing the burdens of automobile ownership. Carpool lanes (HOV), Bus lanes, Time-Sharing Companies, Smart Cars and Hybrids are all part of this megatrend. The long-term ideal is to make transportation easy, clean, and efficient. Stackable Cars and Segways are highly technological approaches that might answer some of the key spaital problems associated with "traditional driving."
For some, city driving is a nightmare, and understandably so. Taking a GMC Yukon or a Ford F350 through the hills of SanFrancisco or Chicago' Lower Wacker Drive could be terrifying. This is in essence a scale problem: vehicles should fit the scale of the place and purpose of their trips. This is where devices like Stackable Cars and Segways get fascinating. Their manueverability can adapt to the demands of a densely urban landscape. For instance,
The MIT concept car is a complete re-think of vehicle technology. For a start, there is no engine, at least in the traditional sense. The power comes from devices called wheel robots. "These are self-contained wheel units that have electric motors inside," says Mr Chin. "The interesting thing is that the wheel can turn a full 360 degrees so you can have omni-directional wheel movements. You can rotate the car while you're moving, any direction can be front or back and you can do things like crabbing or translate sideways. It's almost like you imagine yourself driving a computer chair."Now that would be cool.