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08 January 2019, 02:40 | Hattie Nash
Enlarge Image Your average concept car this ain't. Hyundai
It features wheels with robotic legs that allow users to drive, walk or even climb "over the most treacherous terrain", according to the company.
Hyundai has unveiled a auto that can walk, a development that it hopes will save lives in disaster zones.
Hyundai, who has been working on the idea with industrial design consultancy firm Sundberg-Ferar for nearly three years, says that the electric concept would be able to climb a five foot vertical wall and step over five foot gaps.
Hyundai sees this capability as useful in multiple situations, but perhaps most importantly as a first responder vehicle in situations such as forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes or floods. "Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete", said John Suh, Hyundai vice president and head of Hyundai CRADLE.
"There may well be applications in terms of emergency services - but there are very big technological challenges to make this sort of thing".
In terms of global targets, Hyundai's goal is to have 10 million active connectivity users globally and to apply connected auto technologies to all of its vehicle segments in the global market by early 2022.
"We have been working with Sundberg-Ferar on the Elevate Concept for nearly three years now", added Suh.
The Elevate concept is based on a modular electric vehicle platform, which Hyundai says includes the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. Each leg is afforded five degrees of freedom, while each wheel is packed with its own motor enabling the UMV to maintain its progress even is one or two wheels can't get traction. For example, people living with disabilities that don't have access to a ramp could hail an Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow a wheelchair to roll right in. The design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, as shown in the video.
Of course, the legs can also be retracted in what Hyundai calls a "stowed-drive" mode, and it will take to the highway like any other wheeled vehicle.
Due to its unique mechanism, Elevate can climb a 1.5-meter wall, step over a 1.5-meter gap, walk over diverse terrain and achieve a 4.5-meter wide track width, while keeping its body and passengers fully level.
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