The incredible shrinking car is real, and it's arriving soon

And hereby answers the age-old question: How do you get a car to fit in a motorcycle's parking spot?

It happens to the best of us. We arrive at our meeting early only to be stymied by that most first world of problems – the lack of a parking space. You circle around and around the block and you can't find a space big enough for your car. By some estimates, people can spend 106 days of their life looking for parking spots.

Have no fear; some engineers in Israel have an intriguing solution for you. Meet the "City Transformer," a revolutionary new vehicle that actually shrinks. Yes, you read that right – it shrinks. Indeed, it folds up so tightly that it can fit into a motorcycle's parking spot.

The car's wheels are pulled toward the center of the frame using a patent-pending technology, The car's wheels are pulled toward the center of the frame using a patent-pending technology. (Photo: Facebook)

Similar to a regular car – you know, like the one you drove in to work this morning – this one comes equipped with air bags, air conditioning and all the other bells and whistles you're used to enjoying. The City Transformer is an electric car, which means in addition to saving space, you'll also be saving cash on gas. And did we mention it shrinks? Simply tap a button and four of the cars could fit into a standard-sized parking space.

But wait, it gets better. The car can actually drive in its shrunken mode. So if you're in the mood to weave and bob through traffic as if you were on a motorcycle, grab a helmet and hop on board.

A couple of members of the City Transformer team test out a prototype shell. A couple of members of the City Transformer team test out a prototype shell at their R&D center in Israel. (Photo: Facebook)

German professor Johann H. Tomforde, best known as the father of Daimler’s “Smart” city car, is serving as an executive consultant and design supervisor on the project. "The City Transformer team combines young engineers with experienced engineers, and industrial designers with a long history of working together designing and building vehicles," said CEO Asaf Formoza, a graduate of Israel's Ben-Gurion University.

Uri Meridor, an alumnus of Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv and the Chief Innovation Officer behind the car, explains how it works in the video below:

With the influx of more people into increasingly crowded urban environments, the need for nimble modes of transportation has continued to grow. A trend that started in Europe – of smaller cars, tiny scooters and bicycling to work – is now spreading across America. In 2015, another Israeli startup introduced the Inu, a WiFi-enabled, selfie-taking electric scooter that folds into a suitcase with the click of a button.

As for the incredible shrinking car, a working prototype will be unveiled next week at the annual International Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv. The company's goal is to make the first batch of cars available to the public sometime in late 2018. And at an expected cost of below $15,000, it won't break the bank.

In the meantime, stop reading this article and go back to searching for a parking space. That meeting you're late for is about to begin.


Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows