Hyundai's CES concept is a WALKING CAR

Enlarge Image Your average concept car this ain't.                  Hyundai

At CES 2019, Hyundai showed off a new concept vehicle that could make it easier to reach victims of natural disasters: a "walking car", which uses articulated legs to navigate off-road following floods, fires and earthquakes.

It has extendable and "highly dexterous" robot legs which allow Elevate to walk across the terrain.

The thing on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center is called Elevate and has been classified by Hyundai as an Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV).

"Imagine a vehicle 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", said David Byron, design manager at Sundberg-Ferar, which collaborated with Hyundai on the Elevate concept.

Legs can also be folded away, allowing the vehicle to drive like any other auto on the road.

We've been intrigued by Hyundai's "walking car" concept ever since the automaker teased it last week. This design is claimed to be uniquely capable of mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction.

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Each wheel is powered by an electric motor, and they can be braked to work as feet as the vehicle walks either like a reptile or mammal, depending on the situation.

This vehicle is also able to drive at high speeds.

However, Hyundai's Elevate, which can also drive itself, is a much more radical design.

However, what makes the Elevate literally stand out is the ability to scale 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.

"By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai's latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no auto has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom", said David Byron, design manager at Sundberg-Ferar.

The concept offers a glimpse of what tomorrow's disaster response vehicles might look like. "The possibilities are limitless.", mentions John Suh, VP and Head, Hyundai Cradle. "What if a vehicle designed with robotics could save lives in disasters", said Hyundai's Innovation Head, John Suh.

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