CES 2019 is a showcase of the latest and future technologies. This year at the CES, Hyundai brought us the Elevate walking car concept – looking more like an outcast from Transformers. However automakers sees the potential of this vehicle as the future of rescue cars, especially during natural disasters.
Hyundai describes the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) as the very first vehicle with movable legs. Each robotic legs gives five degrees of freedom and are capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits. The concept car proves to climb a five-foot wall, step over a five-foot gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15-foot wide track width, yet surprisingly keeping its body and passengers completely level. When the leg are retracted, it is no different to other vehicles. The plus side is that it can reach highway speeds just like any normal car. Elevate is based on a modular electric vehicle platform so the cabin can be swapped for suiting different situations.
“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,” explains John Suh, Hyundai vice president and head of Hyundai Cradle. The concept goes beyond emergency uses, too. “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 – the possibilities are limitless.”