Image of CityCar Electric Vehicle CityCar Electric Vehicle
CityCar Electric Vehicle, Smart Cities Group, MIT Media Laboratory, 2006–Present

“We don’t have a utopian vision. We have a set of ideas that we think are important to discuss. Those ideas largely have to do with sustainability of cities. The ability of cities to, over time, remain in balance with the resource streams that are available to them... .”  – William J. Mitchell

The Smart Cities Group at the MIT Media Laboratory puts its ideas into action.  This is a prototype of the CityCar, a lightweight, intelligent, electric vehicle, that the Group believes will one day radically reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprints of cities. The key enabling technology is a “robot wheel” that integrates drive, steering, suspension, and braking inside each wheel. This not only simplifies the design of the chassis and body, but also enables extraordinary mobility. The CityCar is also capable of folding to minimize its urban footprint. A traditional parking space can fit up to three CityCars. Each CityCar can rapidly recharge within 15 minutes at electric charging stations distributed in an urban area. They are most effectively used to form intelligently coordinated, citywide, one-way, shared-use programs, otherwise known as “mobility-on-demand” systems.

Developed by the Smart Cities Group of the MIT Media Laboratory under the leadership of Professor William J. Mitchell (1944–2010) with the sponsorship of General Motors Corporation. On loan from the Smart Cities Group.

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