Hyundai Elevate Concept Is A Futuristic Go-Anywhere Vehicle

Hyundai sees Walking Car prototype as perfect disaster relief vehicle

It features wheels with robotic legs that allow users to drive, walk or even climb "over the most treacherous terrain", according to the company. "Could you help someone elevate to a front door when they can't get out of their front door if it's someone with disabilities in a wheel chair and they don't have a ramp?"

The concept auto, which can apparently climb a five-foot wall and step over a five-foot gap while keeping its body and passengers completely level, is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. The vehicle would drive to the scene of an natural disaster or tsunami, for example, and then lift itself up on legs to walk across ground that would bring regular vehicles to a halt.

Cho Won-hong
Cho Won-hong

The Elevate is envisioned as the Ultimate Utility Vehicle, and was created to ride on a set of retractable "legs" that can raise the cabin in the air and allow the vehicle to climb over 5-foot walls or across 5-foot gaps. It combines the technology found in electric cars and robots, allowing it to travel across hard terrain, debris, stairs and places typical off-road vehicles can't reach.

When the auto is in drive mode, the legs are folded up and power to the joints is cut to extend battery life.

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We've been intrigued by Hyundai's "walking car" concept ever since the automaker teased it last week. "They have to go the rest of the way by foot", said Hyundai vice-president John Suh. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. When required it has the capability to climb over a five foot tall wall, step over a five foot gap, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width.

David Byron, industrial design manager for Sundberg-Ferar, speaks about the Hyundai Elevate.

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"Imagine a auto 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", said said David Byron, design manager at Sundberg-Ferar.

However, Hyundai's Elevate, which can also drive itself, is a much more radical design.

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But while Hyundai's concept is moving forward, it's unlikely to be appearing at a local dealership any time soon. "The possibilities are limitless".

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