At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Hyundai unveiled ‘Elevate’ their brand new walking car concept. It is an Ultimate Mobility Vehicle designed to be used by rescue services in the event of natural disasters.
Hyundai claims the new technology will be able to “take people where no vehicle has been before”.
With 4 wheels and extendable legs, Elevate is able to walk over rough terrain at 3mph, climb a 5-foot wall, and jump a 5-foot gap. The aim is to make traversing over rubble and collapsed structures easier, in order to reduce emergency response time, and ultimately save more lives.
In drive mode, the legs are folded away, allowing for a conventional suspension system, capable of driving at normal motorway speeds.
Hyundai Vice-President John Suh, said: “Current rescue vehicles can only deliver responders to the edge of a debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot. Elevate can drive to the scene and climb over flood debris or crumbled concrete.
The video below shows the Elevate in action:
A Hyundai spokesperson said there are no immediate plans for Elevate to enter production, that it is instead “Designed with a view to how future mobility could evolve in the emergency response environment.”
However, the future of Hyundai’s walking car is not limited to emergency response.
A preview at the conference shows the Elevate concept as a city taxi. It demonstrates how such technology could make it easier for passengers to travel around difficult environments, or to overcome disability restraints.
We will be watching this space with interest.