Hyundai sets out to tackle natural disasters with a ‘walking car’.
Hyundai’s Elevate concept, revealed at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), sets out to tackle the issue of impassable roads in the event of natural disasters. The concept uses robotic legs — mounted on four wheels — in an aim to “climb” over debris fields. When it’s in its walking car mode, the Elevate Concept can move at slow speeds over tough terrain.
According to Hyundai, the Elevate can “…climb a five foot wall, step over a five foot gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width, all while keeping its body and passengers completely level.” When it’s in normal operation, it can drive “at highway speeds” like any other normal vehicle. It uses a modular electric car platform, so you can adapt it to different sorts of tasks. Apart from first response in natural disasters, Hyundai also shows the Elevate as a taxi and even as personal transportation.
Just a concept, at least for now
Hyundai’s four-legged walking concept may not make it to production. However, it is thinking outside the box, and elements of this concept may make it, in some form, into future cars. The company pitches its autonomous capability, but doesn’t quite dictate whether humans will be able to control the Elevate or not.
Apart from Hyundai’s so-called ‘Ultimate Mobility Vehicle’ possibly being an ideal machine for first responders, we can’t help but think of the implications for off-roading as well. If a vehicle were able to drive up part of a trail, and “walk” up trickier bits, it would make the great outdoors challenging (and fun) to explore.
Hyundai released a video of the Elevate concept in action. Check it out below:
Stay tuned to TFLoffroad.com for more CES news, views and real-world reviews! Admittedly, probably not of anything as radical as a walking car.