Hyundai is planning on stepping into the future of cars with the ‘walking car’. The new concept vehicle from the South Korean automaker that seems to be something straight out of a Star Wars movie will be developed in a new development centre built with a $20 million investment. The new Horizon Studio, opened in Montana, the US, will be aimed at producing vehicles for future customers. These new vehicles will be designed to traverse difficult terrains not meant for standard vehicles. The company says, “Hyundai is looking away beyond a chassis, four wheels and a combustion engine, electric motor or hydrogen fuel cell. Indeed, the company is already looking at even more radical versions of transportation to change the way we move for the better.”
To be specific, the facility will be working on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs). Among these UVMs is the car with legs which will be capable of walking over anything that comes in its way. The South Korean company previously displayed designs for UMVs at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Elevate concept, which is similar to the Star Wars All Terrain Armoured Transport (AT-AT) walkers, combines a traditional wheel with a leg that unfolds for rugged terrain.
Its goal is to solve difficult driving scenarios and potentially save lives as a first responder in natural disasters. Hyundai has even shown off a New York taxi prototype that can climb stairs to pick up specially-abled passengers.
Following the unusual designs, there is a second concept, an “uncrewed morphing intelligent ground excursion robot” that can carry a variety of payloads while traversing difficult terrain. It is to be noted that the Horizon Studio will initially converge its efforts on producing these two vehicles.
Hyundai Elevate concept is the world’s first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), combining technologies from electric automobiles and robots to traverse terrain beyond the capabilities of even the most capable off-road vehicle. The Elevate concept is built on a modular electric vehicle platform that can swap out different bodies depending on the situation.
The robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom as well as wheel hub propulsion motors, and it is powered by the most advanced electric actuator technology available.