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Future ready: An EN-V Xiao (Smile) on a demonstration drive at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday. — Photo: AFP
Future ready: An EN-V Xiao (Smile) on a demonstration drive at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday. — Photo: AFP

Fed up with traffic jams and lack of parking spaces? Cheer up! Scientists claim to have designed an electric car capable of beating traffic congestion and avoiding parking troubles.

According to its developers, the two-seater Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) is designed to alleviate those common driver concerns and also address environmental issues, energy consumption and affordability. The EN-V from General Motors can rotate 360 degrees, park itself and be summoned by a smartphone.

Amazingly one doesn't even need to be in the driving seat of an EN-V. It can be driven on manual mode by a driver or on autonomous mode without a driver in the car, the Daily Mail reported.

The General Motors' car, recently unveiled at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, runs on battery power for 40 km on a single charge, with top speeds of 40 km-per-hour.

The two-seater bubble-like EN-V is making its debut in the United States after first being shown at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

“This vehicle is going to be increasingly needed in the markets where we hope to grow our business. It's really a step up from a bike. We think it will be less expensive than a car but more practical to move around in,” said Chris Borroni-Bird, General Motor's director of advanced vehicle concepts.

Electric cars are better for travelling short-distances and air quality in crowded cities, he said.

GM has equipped the EN-V with specialised technology developed by its OnStar subsidiary that allows it to talk to other cars, anticipate dangers and scan blocks for available parking spaces.

All this will help avoid congestion, Mr. Borroni-Bird said, because accidents and people circling for parking often cause major traffic holdups in big cities.

The only downside to this pint-sized vehicle is its inability to withstand a collision with a full-sized vehicle, say its designers. Cities could, however, create EN-V only lanes, or create enclosed areas solely used by the vehicle.

However, there's no timeframe yet for when the EN-V will be in the market. — PTI

The EN-V can rotate 360 degrees and can be driven with or without a driver.


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