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MIT Smart Cities City Car stacks when not in use.
Computer illustration shows how MIT Smart Cities City Cars would be stacked next to a subway exit. Program members could use the car to travel to destinations not served by public transit. Image by Franco Vairani.

A Smarter Urban Mobility

Computer animation shows how MIT's Smart Cities carshare scheme might work.

By EV World

The MIT Smart Cities City Car is a collaboration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and General Motors. The concept is to provide a new form of personal mobility that is a better fit in dense, urban environments, one with a significantly smaller footprint ecologically and physically.

As the video animation below illustrates, the car are "shelf-stacking." A driver is presumably a member of a carshare program similar to ZipCars or the scheme being developed by the city of Paris and patterned after the Velib bicycle share program. They car reserve on of the electric cars for short-term use, leaving at a parking station near their destination or returning its original pickup point.

A nominal hire/rental fee would be paid, likely on an hourly use basis, along with an annual membership fee. Conceivably, urban dwellers would have little need to own their own cars and with fewer cars getting more frequent useage, the amount of traffic on the street should decrease overall.

MIT is also exploring a similar concept that utilizes a small folding electric scooter, which is supposed to be in actual development now in Taiwan.

Times Article Viewed: 7270
Published: 07-Jul-2008

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