Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Money | By Bruce West

Walking auto that could save lives - CBBC Newsround

Walking auto that could save lives - CBBC Newsround

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Hyundai's so-called Elevate vehicle, claimed to be the first ever auto with moveable legs, borrows technologies from the worlds of robotics and electric vehicles to create a vehicle that can drive, walk and even climb across some of the most rugged terrain.

It's not just for emergencies, though; if Elevate could be driven autonomously, it could improve the lives of wheelchair users without access to a stair ramp, climbing to their front door so they can manoeuvre their chair straight in.

The Hyundai Elevate concept is based on a modular EV platform that can switch between different bodies for specific situations.

Hyundai calls the Elevate EV the world's first vehicle with moveable legs. "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 Hyudai Elevate, as described by the company, blends technology found in electric cars and robots that allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle.

When in "drive-mode" with the "legs" automatically folded out of the way, the Elevate can cruise at highway speeds, just like a normal vehicle.

We've been intrigued by Hyundai's "walking car" concept ever since the automaker teased it last week. This design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction, states Hyundai.

And Hyundai has released concept footage of how the auto would achieve this. This allows the Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle.

But the Elevate can also do what no other vehicle can - climb a 5ft wall, step over a 5ft gap, or walk over diverse terrain, making it ideal for search-and-rescue missions or emergency response situations following natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. "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.

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