Some folks just don’t get parking. Slipping into a tight spot induces all manner of angst and trepidation. And parallel parking? In traffic? Are you kidding? Forget it. That takes a certain amount of four-wheel juju that some folks were just not born with.
But what if your car were able to fold itself up into a tidy bundle just two-thirds the size of a smart fortwo? What if the wheels were able to pivot at right angles to facilitate sideways parking in tight spaces? With the application of a few bits of technology, lousy parkers the world over are granted relief. No more parking lot anxiety. The mysterious and perplexing three-point turn has become a thing of the past. Rejoice!
Bad parkers the world over, say hello to your new best friend, the Hiriko. Developed on the drawing boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the concept has been brought to fruition by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility, with a prototype recently unveiled by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The Hiriko—which means “urban” in Basque— is scheduled to go into production with a street date some time near the spring of 2013. Production of 20 test vehicles is already under way and trials are set to begin later this year in cities such as Bilbao, Spain; Malmo, Sweden; and Boston.