Futurists have been hot on the robotic urban pod model of transportation since the last flight of Laika, the dog cosmonaut. But with technology catching up with ideas, researchers are starting to come up with tangible prototypes. Take, for example, this folding-car concept from MIT Media Lab. Less a car than a CPU with a windshield, the City Car is propelled by in-wheel electric motors and can achieve omnidirectional mobility via swiveling wheels. It can also fold to take up a fraction of its footprint, and can be stacked like grocery carts at designated parking lots that would double as charging stations, according to The Boston Globe. No word on whether these would encompass some kind of quasi-public car-sharing system, or if they'd be privately owned. All we know is that having one's car stuck under a mountain of stacked pods at the supermarket would make being trapped by a double-parked Tahoe seem like the better choice.
The Car, 2.0 [The Boston Globe]