Hyundai designs 4-legged walking vehicle that could help during natural disasters

Hyundai Elevate Walking Car Concept

Hyundai Elevate Walking Car Concept

And the technology goes beyond emergency situations.

What's more, the concept, which was developed in conjunction with Sundberg-Ferar, is based around a modular EV platform that allows different bodies to be switched and swopped when needed.

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

Earlier this week, Hyundai had released a teaser image of the Elevate electric rescue vehicle concept or in Hyundai speak, the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV).

The Elevate makes use of four moveable legs to "traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle", according to the Korean manufacturer.

It looks straight out of Star Wars or could be mistaken for a Transformer, but Hyundai's "walking car" concept, unveiled at CES 2019, could be the future of disaster assistance and emergency response.

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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. Hyundai has not mentioned any details on the powertrain neither has disclosed any plans of bringing the Elevate concept into reality.

Industrial design firm Sundberg Farar has been working with Hyundai Cradle on Elevate for the past three years. This means it can function like a traditional vehicle, capable of traveling at highway speeds with passive suspension.

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.

And the Japanese motoring company showed how the vehicle could be used in disaster zones to save lives.

"People living with disabilities worldwide that don't have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in", he continued. "Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete".

Hyundai says it showcases technology that will be able to "take people where no vehicle has been before".

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