If the prospect of parallel parking makes your heart-rate skyrocket, there may be an solution on the horizon. The EO Smart Connecting Car 2 is a transformer, it the wheels can rotate a full 90 degrees to make parking a breeze. The unique wheel design allows the car maneuver into even the tightest of parking spaces. Not only that, the car can lay back, making the wheel base more traditional from 1.5m to 2.5m.
While the E02 is a weird design that sits the driver in an upright position, it’s unlikely to appeal to the majority. The wheel design would work on vehicles of all sizes. Nothing comes for free and they’re always trade offs. In this instance, the result of adding the wheel rotation system, is the driver position (and a lot of weight) is raised above the wheels, moving the center of gravity higher than the ideal position.
The car is the result of a research project from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. The plan here is for the 54V electric vehicles to join together on a freeway and platoon together. Joining the platoon would then allow you to take your hands off the wheel until you approach your destination.
The car weighs 750 kg which is around half of an average small/medium car, a large part of that being the battery. This means the speed of this little guy can only do 65km/h so it’s unlikely you’ll be doing much highway driving, but remember, this is a prototype.
When you consider how traditional powertrains work, with wheels powered by axels, rotating the wheels simply isn’t an option. To make the wheels independent of the direction of the vehicle and have power to move, the E02 uses 4 x 4kW wheelhub motors.
The cars feature stereo-cameras at the front and at the back, combined with Lidar for 3D-scans of the environment and 6 ToF 3D cameras to help with near field view.