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Throw Out Your Parking Pass

Stashed in: Cars!, Transportation!, MIT TR, Transportation

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Traffic congestion, limited space and air pollution are a few of the many plagues of urban life. But what if a network of svelte electric cars were waiting at hubs in your city, charging up their batteries until their next drivers come along? You swipe a card to borrow a vehicle, drive to your destination and drop the car off at the closest station, where it will wait for its next user—a cross between short-term car rental services like ZipCar and the luggage trolleys at the airport or Citi Bikes in New York. That's the vision for CityCar 2.0, a project led by Kent Larson at MIT's Media Lab.

With the ability to fold and stack against each other, three and a half of these new CityCars can fit into the space of one conventional car. Up to two passengers can enter through the windshield, which swings up. "One shared-use vehicle can serve something like 10 times the number of people than privately owned vehicles," says Larson. "Most private cars sit unused for most of the day." And with the ability to run over 100 kilometers on a battery charge, the electric vehicle could reduce air pollution caused by carbon emissions.

This is a great idea, and has somewhat materialized with the Zipcar phenomenon,  I know many urban people that have not owned a car for years.  A total assimilation will be fought by the auto industry through their lobbyists ;)