The CityCar is a foldable, electric, sharable, two-passenger vehicle for crowded cities. Wheel Robots—fully modular in-wheel electric motors—integrate drive motors, suspension, braking, and steering inside the hub-space of the wheel. This drive-by-wire system requires only data, power, and mechanical connection to the chassis.
With over 80 degrees of steering freedom, Wheel Robots enable a zero-turn radius; they also enable the CityCar to fold by eliminating the gasoline-powered engine and drive-train.
We are working with Denokinn on an integrated, modular system for assembly and distribution of the CityCar. This project, based in the Basque region of Spain, will be called the “Hiriko” Project, which stands for Urban Car. The Hiriko project aims to create a new, distributed manufacturing system for the CityCar which will enable automotive suppliers to provide “core” components made of integrated modules such as in-wheel motor units, battery systems, interiors, vehicle control systems, vehicle chassis/exoskeleton, and glazing.
The CityCar project is continuing the vision of William J. Mitchell (1944 – 2010), director of the Smart Cities Media Lab research group. More information on the CityCar project can be found on the Smart Cities web site.