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2013 International Forum on Eco-Friendly Vehicle and System
Leaders in transportation technology gathered at KAIST to discuss commercialization & standardization and to encourage the exchange of research progress, strategy, and future initiatives in transportation technology. The Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST hosted the 2013 International Forum on Eco-friendly Vehicles and Systems (IFEV) in Fusion Hall of the KAIST Institute Building from October 21 to 22. About 50 leaders in the field of future transportation from academic institutes and industries including Dr. Soon-Man Hong, President of Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI), Dr. Kwang-Hee Nam, Professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and Mr. Mike Schagrin, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Manager of the US Department of Transportation (retired) participated in the 4th annual IFEV. The commercialization & standardization session and a technical session were followed by the plenary meeting of the forum. Dr. Hong, the keynote speaker, introduced the High Capacity Double Deck High Speed Train, Near Surface Subway System, and Urban Railway System with Wireless Power Transfer Technology under the title “Korea’s Policy and Technology Initiative for Enhancing Green Transport Systems.” Dr. Kwang-Hee Nam presented “Electric Vehicle Trends & the POSTECH E-Car Research Center Power Train Design,” followed by Mr. Mike Schagrin who spoke about “Going Green with Connected Automation.” Dr. Omer C. Onar from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) shared recent research on “ORNL Development in Stationary and Dynamic Wireless Charging.” In the commercialization session, Faical Turki of Vahle, Germany, presented “Wireless Inductive Battery Chargers,” and Professor Kazuyuki Ouchi from Tokyo University presented “Wind Challenger, the Next Generation Hybrid Vessels.” In the technical session, presentations and discussions were performed on future ground vehicles and railroad technology, intelligent transportation systems and strategy, and policy on eco-friendly vehicle technology, including Professor In-Soo Suh of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST who presented on “Armadillo-T: 4WD Micro Electric EV with a Foldable Body Concept.” On the second day of IFEV 2013, representatives of the European Union’s Safe and Green Road Vehicles (SAGE) consortium discussed connectivity in road transportation as a means of improving safety, efficiency and convenience in future safe and green vehicles with collaboration from Korean transportation organizations such as the Korea Transport Institute and Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. Professor Suh, who organized the forum, said, “This forum will serve as an excellent opportunity to discuss and share R&BD progress in the green transportation field. “Details can be found at http://gt.kaist.ac.kr/ifev2013/.
KAIST unveils foldable micro electric car, Armadillo-T
The small and light electric car completely folds in half when parking, making it a perfect fit for public or private transportation in an urban environment. Looking for a parking space for hours at a busy shopping mall or being stuck on roads jammed with cars releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide are all-too-familiar scenes for city dwellers. A group of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) recently developed a possible solution to such problems: a foldable, compact electric vehicle that can be utilized either as a personal car or part of the public transit system to connect major transportation routes within a city. In-Soo Suh, associate professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST, and his research team introduced a prototype micro electric car called "Armadillo-T," whose design is based on a native animal of South America, the armadillo, a placental mammal with a leathery armor shell. The research team imitated the animal"s distinctive protection characteristic of rolling up into a ball when facing with threat from predators. Just as armadillos hide themselves inside the shell, Armadillo-T tucks its rear body away, shrinking its original size of 2.8 meters (110 inches) down to almost half, 1.65 meters (65 inches), when folding. Armadillo-T is a four-wheel-drive, all-electric car with two seats and four in-wheel motors. Since the motors are installed inside the wheels, and the 13.6 kWh capacity of lithium-ion battery pack is housed on the front side, the battery and motors do not have to change their positions when the car folds. This not only optimizes the energy efficiency but also provides stability and ample room to drivers and passengers. Once folded, the small and light (weighs 450 kg) electric vehicle takes up only one-third of a 5-meter parking space, the standard parking size in Korea, allowing three of its kind to be parked. With a smartphone-interfaced remote control on the wheels, the vehicle can turn 360 degrees, enhancing drivers" convenience to park the car, even in an odd space in a parking lot, the corner of a building, for example. Professor In-Soo Suh said, "I expect that people living in cities will eventually shift their preferences from bulky, petro-engine cars to smaller and lighter electric cars. Armadillo-T can be one of the alternatives city drivers can opt for. Particularly, this car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer, to offer major transportation links in a city. In addition to the urban application, local near-distance travels such as tourist zones or large buildings can be another example of application." The concept car has loads of smart features on board, too: the cameras installed inside the car eliminate the need for side mirrors and increase the driver"s ability to see the car"s right and left side, thereby reducing blind spots. With a smartphone, the driver can control Armadillo-T and enable remote folding control. The car has a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and with a ten-minute fast charge, it can run up to 100 km. Professor Suh explained that the concept of Armadillo-T was originally initiated in 2011 as he focused his research interest on the sub-A segment of personal mobility vehicles (PMVs), which are smaller and lighter than the current compact cars, as a new personalized transport mode. "In coming years, we will see more mega-size cities established and face more serious environmental problems. Throughout the world, the aging population is rapidly growing as well. To cope with climate, energy, and limited petroleum resources, we really need to think outside the box, once again, to find more convenient and eco-friendly transportation, just as the Ford Model T did in the early 1920s. A further level of R&D, technical standards, and regulatory reviews are required to have these types of micro vehicles or PMVs on the market through test-bed evaluations, but we believe that Armadillo-T is an icon toward the future transport system with technology innovation." The research project has been supported by the Korean government, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement, since December 2012.Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DoZH7Y-sR0
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