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The e-car: Electronics technology applied to sustainable mobility, Part 1

One of the most common issues that a driver has to face while searching for a park place is the lack of available space to place the car, and more important, the physical dimensions of the car to be parked. How much simpler would parking be with a “foldable” car? This exceptionally smart car could shrink its structure on demand to reduce the required space to park the car. This is not just an idea. (see Figure 1):

“A JAPANESE firm has unveiled its new electric car – a shapeshifting Transformers-inspired robot.

Four Link Systems commissioned Kunio Okawara, designer of the “Mobile Suit Gundam” game, to sketch the wild concept. It has two large fins at the back with brake lights and a huge opening cockpit for the driver to step into. It looks like any other futuristic electric car and drives like a regular car with steering wheel and pedals. That is until you transform the car into the robot just like Optimus Prime or Bumblebee using the company's clever motor system.” (Source: THE Sun)

Figure 1

'The Earth-1 - designed by the man behind a famous Japanese anime video game - can shift from a regular car to an upright mode at the flick of a joystick'. 
(Image Source: REUTERS)

“The Earth-1 – designed by the man behind a famous Japanese anime video game – can shift from a regular car to an upright mode at the flick of a joystick”. (Image Source: REUTERS)

It is very important to guarantee a quick stretching/shrinking of the car body—while being reliable at the same time; hence, it is required to utilize high performance ICs for the sensors and actuators. These components will need reliability and effectiveness given the possible multiple applications of electronics ICs in Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) for example. (see Figure 2):

Figure 2

Click here for larger image 


Electronics Technologies for automotive applications (Source: http://www.st.com/en/applications/automotive-and-transportation.html#app-solutions-block-title STMicroelectronics)

Electronics Technologies for automotive applications (Source: http://www.st.com/en/applications/automotive-and-transportation.html#app-solutions-block-title STMicroelectronics)

Moreover, electronics technology is providing a great contribution to the development of this fold-up car that is indeed completely electric: there is a wealth of utilization of electronics components in this type of car (see Figure 3):

‘Mr. Oh explained “It’s equipped with conveniences such as air conditioner, hill-start assist, rear camera, etc. by supplementing the weaknesses of the European ultra-compact electric car.” and “It will be useful for electric car sharing thanks to its advantages for driving in the city central such as parking at a cheap price.” This model will also be released on the European market. Mr. Oh continued, “Europe, which has strong pragmatism, already is showing increasing demand for ultra-compact electric cars. We have already started to cooperate with global companies to advance into Europe by taking advantage of its competitiveness to overcome the weaknesses of the European ultra-compact electric car market.” He said, “The technology and experience in manufacturing electric cars such as golf carts and low-speed electric vehicles are strong motives for Daechang Motors to expand various businesses related to electric cars in future.” (Source: KOREAN-MACHINERY.com)

Figure 3

The contribution of electronics to the compact electric car is very valuable in terms of sensors and actuators (Source: Korean Machinery.com)

The contribution of electronics to the compact electric car is very valuable in terms of sensors and actuators (Source: Korean Machinery.com)

What do you think of this new type of electric car? Do you think it will be a good solution for electric transportation inside the big cities, eliminating the emission of CO2 and reducing air pollution as a consequence?

Do you think the foldable car will make life easier for drivers?

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