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Hyundai has unveiled its 'Elevate' car concept at the CES 2019 held in Las Vegas, USA. The Hyundai Elevate concept is an ultimate off-roader — a car with legs which can 'walk' over any difficult terrain.
Hyundai Elevate is the world's first 'Ultimate Mobility Vehicle' (UMV) combining electric car technology with robotics. Hyundai developed the concept mainly to provide resilient and rapid transportation for disaster management. The Hyundai Elevate is the first-ever vehicle with moveable legs.
Hyundai feels that the first customers for the concept would be ambulance vehicles and/or first responders. John Suh, VP (Hyundai) & Head of Hyundai Cradle, stated, "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."
However, he also states that, the first responders aren't the only customers and that the technology goes beyond emergency situations. John Suh further stated, "This technology goes well beyond emergency situations — people living with disabilities worldwide that don't have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in."
The Hyundai Elevate is based an EV which can switch between various body types depending on the situation. The robotic leg itself has five degrees of freedom which enables it to have both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits.
The legs can further be folded down into drive-mode and driven like any other vehicle. When in drive mode, the power to the leg joints is cut which maximises battery efficiency. The robotic legs further allow the car to climb over five-foot walls, step over five-foot gaps and achieve 15-foot wide track width. The robotic legs also come with wheel hub propulsion motor.
David Byron, Design Manager, Sundberg-Ferar, stated, "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."
"Imagine a car stranded in a snow ditch just 10 feet off the highway being able to walk or climb over the treacherous terrain, back to the road potentially saving its injured passengers - this is the future of vehicular mobility."
What Is Hyundai CRADLE?
CRADLE is part of Hyundai Motor's corporate venture and open innovation business, which partners and invests in prominent startups. Hyundai Cradle identifies startups focussing on ‘Disruptive innovations' and helps accelerate the process of development of advanced future automotive technologies.
Thoughts On The Hyundai Elevate Walking Car Concept
The Hyundai Elevate is the first-of-its-kind mobility vehicle, which allows passengers to travel anywhere irrespective of the terrain. The Elevate Walking Car Concept is also part of Hyundai's ‘Last-Mile' technologies and solutions.