At CES 2019, Hyundai unveiled its futuristic ‘Elevate’ Walking Car Concept, in which the wheels were attached to robotic legs, allowing users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain. To make these vehicles a reality, Hyundai Motor Group has now announced the formation of New Horizons Studio, a new unit based in Silicon Valley that will focus on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs), including the concept vehicle Hyundai Elevate.
“We aim to create the world’s first transformer-class vehicle, also known as the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle,” said Dr. John Suh, who will lead the New Horizons Studio.
The company explains that the New Horizons Studio provides for the construction of vehicles for unprecedented mobility, exceeding the traditional limits of development, thus building vehicles capable of crossing off-road terrains with mobility that did not exist before. To do this, it will use a combination of robotics and wheelchair technology.
The Hyundai Elevate is the inaugural vehicle concept of the new innovation studio. The vehicle does not rely solely on wheels and is expected to address challenging driving situations. The legs can be pulled in and out underneath. A car with robotic legs could save lives as the first responder in natural disasters; or, wheelchair users who do not have access to a ramp can hail a car to walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow wheelchairs to roll right in. According to Hyundai, this is one of the many examples of why UMVs can play a major role in mobility in the future.