Hyundai has unveiled a walking car design at CES 2019, a complete system with robotic legs which company claims have limitless purposes and is the future of the first responder industry. The company named it as Elevate which is designed to be able to go on natural disasters sites, with users to drive, walk or climb over “the most treacherous terrain” It’s currently in concept stages and there is no official timeline when it will commercially available.
The Hyundai is working in a partnership with Detroit firm Sundberg-Ferar on this concept for almost three years. This Elevate will be the first ever car with movable legs and the first to combine both electric cars and robots technology. It is capable of “both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits,” this can move while keeping its passengers level, at any direction, climb walls and step over large gaps.
In a press release on Monday, David Byron – a design manager at Sundberg-Ferar said that
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.
‘Limitless’ uses of Elevate
Vice president and head of the Hyundai Cradle, John Suh added, the current vehicles are only able to deliver first responders to the edge of a debris field site, On the other hand, Elevate can be driven to the scene and climb right over the crumbled concrete.
Moreover, he said that
(But) this technology goes well beyond emergency situations, People living with disabilities worldwide … could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, the level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in. The possibilities are limitless.
Hyundai Elevate Design issues
Micheal Whiteley who is the head of the fuel engineering at UCL’s Electrochemical Innovation Lab noted that it was good to see that Hyundai was pushing the limits but it was unlikely that this Elevate concept will be a reality anytime soon.
He told to CNBC
Sticking with four wheels might lead to some stability issues when ‘walking, When two of the legs are lifted, the car could have balance issues with only two remaining wheels planted on terra firma. Will we see this in the future? Possibly not in the near future. The concept is a great idea, and may very well evolve over time – (but) I don’t think that we are quite ready for this yet in terms of system cost and the feasibility issues of implementing such a vehicle to the terrestrial application.