CES 2019: Hyundai showcases a car that walks

It is mind blowing and jaw dropping to say the least. Hyundai showcased their ‘car with legs’ at the 2019 International CES in Las Vegas.

The Elevate project from the South Korean automobile manufacturer and they have called it the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV). This vehicle is a combination of technology from cars and robotics and a small scale model was on display at the event. Hyundai claims that the full scale model can climb a five-foot wall, step over a five-foot gap and achieve a 15-foot wide track width. The vehicle is designed so that its body is always level with the ground even when it is climbing.


Pic credit: Hyundai

The CRADLE arm of Hyundai is handling this project. The Elevate has four mechanical ‘legs’ with wheels at the end for feet. The legs can rotate to a limited degree at the place they are attached to the vehicle. The legs have joints and can also bend. Hyundai also says that with the legs bent in the stowed drive mode, the Elevate can achieve highway speeds.

This interesting vehicle is not that much of a transport vehicle, but is more suited for rescue operations in difficult terrains. It can also help rescue people from disaster areas. Basically, it can go where no off-road vehicle can ever go. The design is such that it is capable of mammalian and reptilian walking gaits and this allows it to move in any direction.

“When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot. Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete,” said John Suh, Vice President and Head of Hyundai CRADLE in a press release.


Credit: Hyundai

“This technology goes well beyond emergency situations. People living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to a 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. The possibilities are limitless,” he added.

For this project, Hyundai has been working with product innovation studio, design research and industrial design firm Sandberg-Ferar (Detroit).

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CES 2019: Hyundai showcases a car that walks

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