Hyundai el­e­vate is

The fu­ture of ‘ve­hic­u­lar mo­bil­ity’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MOTORING - | IOL Mo­tor­ing

IT DOESN’T mat­ter how many ad­vanced 4WD sys­tems and “go any­where” stick­ers you have, a ve­hi­cle with wheels and a con­ven­tional rolling chas­sis can only go so far off the beaten track.

But what if you could cre­ate a ve­hi­cle that’s ca­pa­ble of walk­ing, climb­ing and rolling?

Hyundai has done just that with the El­e­vate con­cept that was re­vealed at the CES tech­nol­ogy show­case in

Las Ve­gas re­cently.

But not be­fore get­ting past some se­ri­ous tech­ni­cal hur­dles.

Af­ter all, for a ve­hi­cle to walk and climb it needs legs of some kind, but to power the wheels you need an axle, which would ren­der those legs use­less.

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

Ac­cord­ing to Hyundai, the ve­hi­cle can climb a 1.5m wall, step over a 1.5m gap, walk over di­verse ter­rain, and achieve a 4.6m wide track width, while keep­ing the oc­cu­pants level.

Bet your Land Rover De­fender can’t do that.

Yet it’s not just about hop­ping over ter­rain for the fun of it.

What this ve­hi­cle was mainly de­signed for is search and res­cue oper­a­tions as well as hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sions.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, moun­tain res­cues… It’s not hard to see how this kind of ma­chine would come in re­ally handy. The fully au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle can even be sum­moned help peo­ple in wheel­chairs get to the top of flights of stairs.

“By com­bin­ing the power of ro­bot­ics with Hyundai’s lat­est EV tech­nol­ogy, El­e­vate has the abil­ity to take peo­ple where no car has been be­fore, and re­de­fine our per­cep­tion of ve­hic­u­lar free­dom,” said de­sign man­ager David By­ron.

“Imag­ine a car stranded in a snow ditch just 3m off the high­way be­ing able to walk or climb over the treach­er­ous ter­rain, back to the road po­ten­tially sav­ing its in­jured pas­sen­gers – this is the fu­ture of ve­hic­u­lar mo­bil­ity.”

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.

Now that, folks, is what you call a 4x4.

THE Hyundai El­e­vate, an ‘Ul­ti­mate Mo­bil­ity’ con­cept ve­hi­cle, is dis­played dur­ing the Hyundai press con­fer­ence at the Man­dalay Bay Con­ven­tion Cen­tre dur­ing CES 2019 in Las Ve­gas, Ne­vada

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