This tiny electric car can drive sideways and shrink to fit into parking spaces

Anyone who’s read a bit of science fiction knows that living in futuristic urban sprawl can be a bit of a drag, but a team of German engineers has a concept car designed to make driving and living with an automobile easier in the densely-populated urban areas increasing numbers of people are expected to call home.

Created by DFKI Robotics Innovation Center, the EO Smart Connecting Car 2 adapts to the urban environment like a rat squeezing through cracks in a boarded-up building. It can shrink to take up less space, and even drive sideways into parking spaces.

The pod-like design features seating for two and four electric motors, one mounted to each wheel hub. This design allowed engineers to give the car some serious turning ability. Each wheel can rotate 90 degrees.

By turning the wheels perpendicular to the curb, the car can crab sideways into a space, much easier alternative to parallel parking.

And if the space isn’t quite big enough, the EO Smart Connecting Car 2 can suck in its gut by lifting the body over the rear axle. This allows it to contract from a full length of around 7.5 feet to around 5.2 feet.

Yet while the EO car excels at parking, performance is not its forte. Top speed is just 40 mph, while range is estimated at between 30 and 44 miles. The onboard battery pack takes four hours to fully recharge.

Granted, city driving usually involves shorter trips in dense traffic, and there are more places to put charging stations in built-up areas. This definitely isn’t a car for the country, though.

One more nifty feature is the ability for multiple cars to dock and form a “platoon,” maneuvering in unison without any input from individual drivers. The EO Smart Connecting Car’s developers believe this could be particularly useful in a car-sharing service, where users hitch a ride on the autonomous convoy.

The EO Smart Connecting Car 2 isn’t destined for production, but it demonstrates possible ways to make cars easier to use in cities. Whether any carmakers employ any of its features in their own vehicles remains to be seen.

Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Computing

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with one of the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. As more brands offer their own take on this innovative way to get around, it's hard to distinguish the…
Cars

Ride with Batman, thanks to Intel and Warner Bros.’ car entertainment system

Instead of driving a car yourself in the future, you could kick back and read Batman comics as the vehicle drives you autonomously. That's the concept introduced by a Dark Knight-themed concept car at CES 2019.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Mobile

Samsung rumored to mark 10 years of the Galaxy S line with a 5G model

Samsung is rumored to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10, called the Galaxy S10 X. The phone may be larger than the standard Galaxy S10 devices, and feature a very impressive specification sheet.
Mobile

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Mobile

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.
Mobile

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.