July 31 - The difficulty of parallel parking will be a thing of the past, if the designers of a revolutionary new electric car have their way. The prototype vehicle, designed by Chinese, Taiwanese, and New Zealand engineers, has four separate electrically powered wheels, enabling effortless U-turns and sideways parking at the touch of a button. Jim Drury reports.
Fancy going for a spin? This prototype electric car is sure to make heads turn. Designed by students from China, Taiwan, and New Zealand, it has electric motors on all four wheels, each able to steer independently. When a U-turn's required, pressing a button makes the car rotate 180 degrees. And for those who don't know which way to turn when parallel parking, programme manager Dr Tom Qi, from New Zealand's Otago Polytechnic, says there's no need to go round in circles. SOUNDBITE (English) DOCTOR TOM QI, OTAGO POLYTECHNIC PROGRAMME MANAGER SAYING: "You just need to push a button and all the procedure will become complete automatically." The as yet unnamed auto runs on battery and can reach 100 kilometres an hour. It should be sold commercially within two years for around 8,000 dollars. Its makers believe there'll be plenty of drivers willing to give it a whirl.