A Walking Car
Hyundai wowed the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas with their new vehicle, “Elevate.” Like something out of Star Wars, wheels with robotic legs allow users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain.
In times of disaster, those first 72 hours are of upmost importance. Often the search-and-rescue missions are impeded due to the disaster . . . which led Hyundai to develop the first-ever vehicle with movable legs.
The design is capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction. The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut, and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. But no other 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.
Design Manager, David Byron, offered a real-life scenario: “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.”