Hyundai unveils walking car concept
Hyundai has unveiled a car concept that can walk, climb and even jump at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The concept, which has been in development for three years, is called the Hyundai Elevate. Its unique abilities could make it useful for rescuing the victims of natural disasters. In fact, Hyundai has described Elevate as “the future of [the] first responder industry.”
John Suh, Hyundai’s vice-president and Head of Hyundai CRADLE, said: “When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot. Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete.”
Picture courtesy of Hyundai
Suh added that “the possibilities are limitless” as he described how Elevate would be able to walk up to the front doors of people living with disabilities and allow wheelchairs to roll straight in without the need for a ramp.
Hyundai has described Elevate as the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) as it would be able to tackle terrain too tough for off-road vehicles. Hyundai says the vehicle would be able to climb a five-foot wall and jump a five-foot gap.
The vehicle’s unique design allows it to switch out different bodies depending on specific situations. The design allows the vehicle to move in any direction and is capable of mammalian and reptilian walking gaits.
Picture courtesy of Hyndai
Once the legs are stowed in drive-mode, Hyundai says that Elevate can reach motorway speeds.
Design manager at Sundberg Ferar, David Byron, said: “By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai’s latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no car has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom.” He added: “This is the future of vehicular mobility.”