Will car companies walk before they can fly?
So-called “flying cars” may be all the buzz these days, but Hyundai has established a new team in Silicon Valley tasked with developing a production version of the futuristic Elevate walking vehicle concept it unveiled at CES in 2019.
The vehicle is equipped with robotic legs that have wheels instead of feet that allow it to drive like a car and also lift the body off the ground to traverse rough terrain in a walking motion.
“We aim to create the world’s first transformer-class vehicle, also known as the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle,” said vice president Dr. John Suh, who is director of the New Horizons Studio.
Hyundai thinks there is a wide variety of use cases for such a vehicle, including emergency first response in hard to reach areas and providing wheelchair access to buildings without ramp-equipped entrances.
Hyundai did not say when it expects to have a working prototype or production vehicle ready.
Of course, like many automakers, Hyundai’s feet may be on the ground but it is reaching for the sky. At the 2020 edition of CES, it announced a project to develop an air taxi in partnership with Uber called the S-A1.