The MIT Car is a concept car project conceived at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, United States, for the purpose of exploring the idea of urban mobility. This intensive study on advanced human traveling has been in progress since 2003. Designed for fluid movement in downtown cores, the concept car research is designed for passengers to navigate the city intelligently and ecologically. This project comprises the testing and making of a vehicle which re-invents the car as an object, and redefines the user's relationship to metropolitan patterns. The intention was to take the design process “out of the box," of automotive design
Automotive design
Automotive design is the profession involved in the development of the appearance, and to some extent the ergonomics, of motor vehicles or more specifically road vehicles. This most commonly refers to automobiles but also refers to motorcycles, trucks, buses, coaches, and vans...

 alone. The prototype will be designed from a new perspective: that of architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, energy, ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

, and urban design
Urban design
Urban design concerns the arrangement, appearance and functionality of towns and cities, and in particular the shaping and uses of urban public space. It has traditionally been regarded as a disciplinary subset of urban planning, landscape architecture, or architecture and in more recent times has...


The project was formally led by architect Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
Frank Owen Gehry, is a Canadian American Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles, California.His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions...

. General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 has been responsible for much of the support and resources as well as the MIT Design Lab, Smart Cities Group, and MIT Media Lab
MIT Media Lab
The MIT Media Lab is a laboratory of MIT School of Architecture and Planning. Devoted to research projects at the convergence of design, multimedia and technology, the Media Lab has been widely popularized since the 1990s by business and technology publications such as Wired and Red Herring for a...

. Research developed for the concept vehicle is divided into four main groups: City Car, Athlete, Zero Car, and Transology.

See also

  • Alternatives to the automobile
    Alternatives to the automobile
    Established alternatives for some aspects of automobile use include public transit , cycling, walking, rollerblading and skateboarding. Car-share arrangements are also increasingly popular – the U.S...

  • Automotive design
    Automotive design
    Automotive design is the profession involved in the development of the appearance, and to some extent the ergonomics, of motor vehicles or more specifically road vehicles. This most commonly refers to automobiles but also refers to motorcycles, trucks, buses, coaches, and vans...

  • BMW Mega City Vehicle
  • Bubble car
    Bubble car
    Bubble car is a subjective term used for some small, economical automobiles, usually produced in the 1950s and 1960s.- Varieties :The Messerschmitt KR175 and KR200, and the FMR Tg500, had aircraft-style bubble canopies, giving rise to the term bubble car to refer to all these post-war microcars...

  • CityCar or MIT CityCar
  • Concept car
    Concept car
    A concept vehicle or show vehicle is a car made to showcase new styling and or new technology. They are often shown at motor shows to gauge customer reaction to new and radical designs which may or may not have a chance of being produced....

  • City car
    City car
    A city car is a small car intended for use primarily in an urban area.City cars are sold worldwide and most automotive industry manufacturers have one or two in their line-up. In North-America city cars are often referred to simply as "subcompacts" alongside the superminis. These kind of cars...

  • Electric car
    Electric car
    An electric car is an automobile which is propelled by electric motor, using electrical energy stored in batteries or another energy storage device. Electric cars were popular in the late-19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engine technology and mass...

  • General Motors EN-V
    General Motors EN-V
    General Motors EN-V is a 2-seat urban electric concept car jointly developed by Segway and General Motors that can be driven normally or operated autonomously....

  • Microcar
    A microcar is the smallest automobile classification usually applied to standard small car . Such small cars were generally referred to as cyclecars until the 1940s. More recent models are also called bubblecars due to their egg-shaped appearance.-Definition:The definition of a microcar has varied...

  • Nissan Pivo
    Nissan Pivo
    The Nissan Pivo is a concept car created by Nissan. The Pivo was first introduced at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. The car is essentially a 360 degree rotating three-seater cabin on a chassis of 4 wheels, and hence eliminates the need for reversing and makes parking easier.The Pivo is powered by a...

  • VisLab
    The Artificial Vision and Intelligent Systems Laboratory of the University of Parma is the artificial vision research laboratory of University of Parma, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione....

    , and their VIAC
    VIAC, the VisLab Intercontinental Autonomous Challenge, is the challenge conceived by VisLabas an extremetest ofautonomous vehicles.It ran from July 26, 2010 to October 28, 2010, involving four driverless vehicles driving with...

     intercontinental challenge (driving from Italy to China with autonomous vehicles)
  • Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility
    Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility
    The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility is an experimental electrically powered road vehicle created by Segway and adopted by General Motors as a concept vehicle representing the future of urban transportation...

  • Supermini
    A superminicomputer, or supermini, is “a minicomputer with high performance compared to ordinary minicomputers.” The term was an invention used from the mid-1970s mainly to distinguish the emerging 32-bit minis from the classical 16-bit minicomputers...

  • Sustainable transport
    Sustainable transport
    Sustainable transport refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, CarSharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy...

  • Renault Twizy Z.E.
    Renault Twizy Z.E.
    The Renault Twizy Z.E. is an electric city car to be produced by Renault. The concept car was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. In May 2011 Renault announced to begin production soon and began taking reservations. Sales scheduled in Europe for late 2011 and the UK for the first quarter of...

External links

Academic papers

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