Hyundai Elevate Is the Closest We've Gotten to Transformers

The Hyundai Elevate demonstrates its mammalian walking gaits

The Hyundai Elevate demonstrates its mammalian walking gaits

South Korean auto maker Hyundai has unveiled its walking concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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. The legs, which can lock in any position, even fold up under the body, so on roads the Elevate can drive along on its wheels like a normal vehicle. "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, Sundberg-Ferar, the company which has worked with Hyundai Cradle on this project for the past three years. The design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, as shown in the video.

We've been intrigued by Hyundai's "walking car" concept ever since the automaker teased it last week. Elevate is designed with four mechanical legs with wheels for feet and can roll along on extended legs or retract them to be driven like a auto. Cradle Hyundai Motor's corporate venturing and open innovation business, which partners and invests extensively in prominent global startups to accelerate the development of advanced future automotive technologies.

But while Hyundai's concept is moving forward, it's unlikely to be appearing at a local dealership any time soon. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle.

The Hyundai Elevate Concept helps a person get to a doctor appointment in a city
The Hyundai Elevate Concept helps a person get to a doctor appointment in a city

The manufacturer claims the model can climb a five-foot wall and step over a gap of the same distance - all while keeping the passengers 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.

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

According to Suh, the Elevate has been three years in the making. "The possibilities are limitless".

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