Has the tow truck industry finally been disrupted? Not yet, but this idea from a consortium of British and German engineers looks promising.
They've developed a system called AVERT, or "Autonomous Multi-Robot System for Vehicle Extraction and Transportation." Shorter: it's two robots slim enough to slide underneath a car, hook onto the wheels and ferry it away.
The idea of AVERT, which has been in development since 2012, is to remove cars from tight spaces like tunnels and underground parking lots where space is at a premium. According to its website, the cars "can be removed from confined spaces with delicate handling, swiftly, and in any direction to a safer disposal point to reduce or eliminate collateral damage."
The website adds that since AVERT is remote-operated, it would be ideally used for police officials looking to remove to suspicious vehicles that might be too dangerous to approach themselves. It's been tested this year, but it won't be until next year when it starts production.
Hat tip: Engadet